Religious Studies | Introduction to Christianity
R180 | 10042 | Furey


In the United States, Christianity is both pervasive and difficult
to analyze. It influences politics, education, and culture, and it
seems simple enough to describe: Christianity is the religion of
people who believe that Jesus Christ is the saviour of the world.
But the basic claim about Christ’s salvific power has always raised
questions: Who is Jesus Christ? What is a savior? What is meant
by “believe in”? How should Christians worship God? How should
Christians act in the world? And a quick look at the list of
churches in any phone book or at the different positions espoused by
Christians in hotly contested social issues reveals plainly that
there are many different kinds of Christianities. This course
studies these differences both historically and through a
comparative analysis of some contemporary issues. The historical
survey will dwell on certain key developments: the origins of
Christianity; the split between the Western and Eastern Orthodox
churches; the establishment of Protestantism; the spread of
Christianity by missionaries and colonizers; and the rise of new
Christian movements. In the final section of the course we will look
at contemporary political and social issues that Christians argue
about today. *Additional discussion session