Religious Studies | CHRISTIANITY, 50-450
R327 | 26261 | Brakke, D


This course provides an introductory survey of the history and
literature of ancient Christianity from its origins as a Jewish sect
in Palestine to its establishment as the official religion of the
Roman empire in the fifth century. Topics include persecution and
martyrdom, scripture, Gnosticism, theological controversies over the
Trinity and the nature of Christ, Constantine and the establishment
of catholic orthodoxy, the rise of monasticism, and important
figures such as Origen and Augustine. The course will emphasize the
variety of early Christian groups and will provide a good foundation
for study of Christianity in any later period. It is something of a
sequel to R220 (Introduction to the New Testament), but there are no
prerequisites, and no previous study of Christianity is assumed.
Requirements: two short papers (4-6 pp.), midterm, and final exam.
Textbooks: Henry Chadwick, The Early Church; Bart Ehrman, After the
New Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity; Bart Ehrman and
Andrew Jacobs, Christianity in Late Antiquity 300-450 C.E.: A
Reader.