CH201 - Christianity in History to 1550
2,280 Standard Tuition Fee
Learning outcomesOn successful completion of this unit, students will
Know and understand
- The major phases and developments in the history of Christianity identified in the unit content
- The life and thought of selected key figures in the history of Christianity
Be able to
- Describe the impact of the social, political and cultural context on Christian beliefs, practices and movements.
- Use primary and secondary sources
- Present an evidence-based perspective or narrative
Be in a position to
- Apply historical perspectives from this period to their theological studies and in ministry contexts
Section A: The Church in Imperial Rome:
- Christians in society: the spread of Christianity to 312
Justin Martyr OR Tertullian
- The challenge of other religions and ideologies, especially Judaism and Gnosticism.
Irenaeus OR Athenagoras.
- Caesar: enemy or friend? Decius, Diocletian, Constantine.
Pliny & Trajan OR Cyprian.
- Wrestling with the faith: Origen, Arianism, Chalcedon.
Origen OR Athanasius.
- 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
- The conversion of Europe 600–900. The Holy Roman Empire.
Boniface of Crediton OR Alcuin of York
- Christendom triumphant: the Western church in the 13th and 14th centuries. The development of scholasticism.
Innocent III OR Thomas Aquinas.
- Byzantium, Islam and the Crusades.
- Christendom challenged; protest and spiritual renewal mysticism. The conciliar movement.
Francis of Assisi OR Thomas a Kempis.
Section C: The Continental Churches and Reform
Reform precursors; renaissance and new learning.
John Hus OR Erasmus
- Reformation as massive change:
(a) in Germany (1517–1530)
(b) in Geneva (1536–1564)
Martin Luther & John Calvin
(c) Anabaptist groups
- The Counter Reformation: Trent; the Jesuits; the papacy reformed.
Ignatius Loyola OR Teresa of Avila
The Church in Imperial Rome
Davidson, I. J., The Birth of the Church: From Jesus to Constantine AD 30-312 (Baker History of the Church, Vol 1; Grand Rapids/ Oxford: Baker/Monarch, 2004).
Evans, G. R. (ed.), The First Christian Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Church (Mulden: Blackwell, 2004).
Frend, W. H. C., The Early Church (London: SCM, 2003).
Frend, W. H. C., From Dogma to History: How our Understanding of the Early Church Developed (London: SCM, 2003).
Grant, R. M., Augustus to Constantine: the Rise and Triumph of Christianity in the Roman World (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2004).
McKechnie, P., The First Christian Centuries. Perspectives on the Early Church (Leicester: Apollos, 2001).
The Church as Christendom
Bassett, P., The Medieval Church (Baker History of the Church, Vol 3; Grand Rapids/ Oxford: Baker/Monarch, 2006).
Cusack, C. M., Conversion Among Germanic Peoples (London: Cassell, 1998).
Davidson, I. J., A Public Faith: From Constantine to the Medieval World: AD 312-600 (Baker History of the Church, Vol 2; Grand Rapids/ Oxford: Baker/Monarch, 2005).
Hylson-Smith, K., Christianity in England from Roman Times to the Reformation (Vol. I; London: SCM, 1999).
Hylson-Smith, K., Christianity in England from Roman Times to the Reformation (Vol. II; London: SCM, 2000).
Hylson-Smith, K., Christianity in England from Roman Times to the Reformation (Vol. III; London: SCM, 2001).
Milne, K., A Short History of the Church of Ireland (Dublin: Columbia, 2003).
Riley-Smith, J., The Crusades – A History (2nd ed.; London: Continuum, 2005).
Wood, I. N., The Missionary Life: Saints and the Evangelisation of Europe, 400-1050 (New York: Longman, 2001).
The Continental Churches and Reform
Cottret, B., Calvin: A Biography (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).
Heinze, R. W., Reform and Conflict: From the Medieval World to the Wars of Religion AD 1350-1648 (Baker History of the Church, Vol 4; Grand Rapids/ Oxford: Baker/Monarch, 2005).
Mullett, M., The Catholic Reformation (New York: Routledge, 1999).
Scribner, R. W. and C. S. Dixon, The German Reformation (2nd ed.; Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2003).
Candidates are advised to have access to a good Atlas of Christianity (e.g. MacMillan’s).
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