Religious Studies | Early Christian Thought
R620 | 26682 | Brakke

This seminar will survey, through extensive readings in primary
sources, the development of Christian thought from the end of the
first century through the fifth.  The course will divide into three
themes, which fall roughly into chronological sequence: (1) the
relationships between God, Godís mediating principle(s), and
creation (Justin Martyr, the Gnostics and Valentinians, Irenaeus,
Origen); (2) the Trinity and the person and nature(s) of Christ
(Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers, Nestorius, Cyril of
Alexandria); (3) the purity of the church, divine grace, and human
freedom (Cyprian, the Donatists, Pelagius, Augustine).  Reading in
primary sources will be supplemented by student reports on important
secondary works.  All primary source readings in English.  Students
may choose to conclude the seminar with an examination or a major
research paper.

Textbooks: Standard modern English translations in paper will be
ordered, but many of the works are available also in Victorian
translations now accessible on the Web.