Religious Studies | Introduction to Christianity
R180 | 3623-3629 | Mary Jo Weaver


This course introduces the complex history and practice of
Christianity through four approaches.  We begin with its roots in the
Biblical period, in the life of Jesus, and in the experience of the
early communities.  Next, we take a historical tour noticing the
different ways Christianity grew up in Eastern and Western context
and then focusing the roots and results of the Reformation.  Third,
we move to the American context and look at the ways Christianity has
taken shape in this country.  Here we will pay attention to the kinds
of Christianity that were imported here by immigrants from Europe,
and also at expressions of Christianity that took root in American
soil (Evangelicalism, Mormonism, Christian Science, e.g.).  Finally,
we will try to locate Christianity in relation to the world,
especially to secular culture and contemporary divides between
liberal and conservative expressions faith and action.

The class has a two-part structure:  two lectures/week and one
discussion section.  Approximately  of the exam material will come
from lecture and the other half from discussion.  Grades will be
based on two exams, a short term paper, and discussion section
performance.  There will be regular discussion section assignments
(usually reading, sometimes writing).

Books:  "Introduction to Christianity" 3rd edition by Mary Jo Weaver
with David Brakke and Jason Bivins;  "Readings in Christianity"
edited by Robert E. Van Voorst, 2d edition.