1 x 3-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
THEO8401 has been successfully completed
Assignments; Tutorial participation.
Topic description
This topic will introduce students to the study of church history from the first century to 1500CE. It will consider the impact of perspective on the recounting and analysis of history, the sources that are available and the relevance of history to contemporary life. The topic will examine the beginnings of the church, the writings, context and debates of some of the early church fathers and mothers and councils. It will follow the expansion of the church from North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe west toward Britain and east toward China, and chart the rise of mysticism, monasticism and medieval Christianity and the factors contributing to Reformation.
Educational aims
The aims of this topic are to:

  • introduce students to a consideration of what 'history' actually is and why it is important to study it
  • investigate the sources that inform our understanding of the past and explore how those sources may have been interpreted in both the past and in the present
  • explore the development of Christianity in the Roman Empire from the end of the new testament period to the middle of the 5th Century
  • trace the expansion of Christianity beyond the borders of the Roman Empire to Britain, northern and eastern Europe, North Africa and Asia
  • consider the main movements within Christianity before the Reformation, including monasticism and mysticism
Expected learning outcomes
At the conclusion of this topic students will be able to:

  • outline and describe the development of Christianity from the last part of the 1st Century to 1500 CE
  • display skill in interpreting primary source material and evaluating its significance
  • demonstrate competence in evaluating the arguments and theories put forward by different historians
  • pursue independent research and present the result in essay format