Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, for the period down to 1550, students will:
A. Know and understand
1. The major phases and developments in the history of Christianity identified in the unit content

2. The life and thought of selected key figures in the history of Christianity

B. Be able to
1. Describe the impact of the social, political and cultural context on Christian beliefs, practices and movements.
2. Use primary and secondary sources
3. Present an evidence-based perspective or narrative
C. Be in a position to
1. Apply historical perspectives from this period to their theological studies and in ministry contexts 



Section A: The Church in Imperial Rome:

  1. Christians in society: the spread of Christianity to 312 Justin Martyr OR Tertullian
  2. The challenge of other religions and ideologies, especially Judaism and Gnosticism. Irenaeus OR Athenagoras.
  3. Caesar: enemy or friend? Constantine. Pliny & Trajan OR Cyprian.
  4. Wrestling with the faith: Origen, Arianism, Chalcedon. Origen OR Athanasius.
  5. Worship and popular religion in a collapsing society: 4th and 5th century trends: asceticism, pilgrimage, liturgy, icons. Augustine of Hippo.


Section B: The Church as Christendom

6. The conversion of Europe 600–900. The Holy Roman Empire. Boniface of Crediton OR Alcuin of York

7. Christendom triumphant: the Western church in the 13th and 14th centuries. The development of scholasticism. Innocent III OR Thomas Aquinas.

8. Byzantium, Islam and the Crusades.

9. Christendom challenged; protest and spiritual renewal mysticism. The conciliar movement. Francis of Assisi OR Thomas a Kempis.

Section C: The Continental Churches and Reform

10. Reform precursors; renaissance and new learning. John Hus OR Erasmus

11. Reformation as massive change: 
(a) in Germany (1517–1530)
(b) in Geneva (1536–1564). Martin Luther & John Calvin 
(c) Anabaptist groups. Menno Simons
especially Judaism and Gnosticism. Irenaeus OR Athenagoras.

12. The Counter Reformation: Trent, the Jesuits; the papacy reformed. Ignatius Loyola OR Teresa of Avila

Course begins: 26 Feb 2018
Course ends: 15 June 2018
Registration deadline: 19 Feb 2018
Exam: TBC