Religious Studies | Christianity, 50-450 C.E.
R327 | 25470 | Brakke


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 emphasizes the
variety of early Christian groups and provides a good foundation for
the study of Christianity in any later period (e.g., R330, R331).
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 tests, final exam, some very short papers.
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.