General Objectives: To offer a thorough reading of the history of the Church, from her beginnings until the end of the 7th century.
Course Outlines: 1. Main characteristics of the Roman world. 2. The Primitive Church: Peter and Paul. 3. The Post-apostolic Period: The Apostolic Fathers. 4. The Roman State and the local Churches. The Persecutions. 5. The intellectual dialogue with Paganism. Currents of thought that challenged the faith and the ecclesial unity. 6. The local Churches and their Relationships. 7. Establishing the Christian Empire. 9. Divisions in the Churches: The Theological Disputes. 10. The Beginning of the Golden Age of Patristic teachings. 11. The Christological controversies. 12. Other controversies and intellectual personalities.
Bibliography: Bainton, Roland. Christianity. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000; Brox, Norbert. A Concise History of The Early Church. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2009; Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967; Christophe, Paul. 2000 ans d’Histoire de l’Eglise. Nouvelle Édition Revue. Paris: Mame-Desclée, 2017; Duchesne, Louis. Early History of the Christian Church: From Its Foundation to the End of the Fifth Century. London: Forgotten Books, 2015; Duffy, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of The Popes. London: Yale University Press, 2015; Freeman, Charles. A New History of Early Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011; Frend, William. The Rise of Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1991; Harding, Mark. Early Christian Life and Thought in Social Context: A Reader. London: T&T Clark International, 2003; Laux, John. Church History. Ashland: TAN Books, 1989; Norwich, John. The Popes: A History. London: Random House, 2011; Tanner, Norman. New Short History of the Catholic Church. London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2014; Wilken, Robert. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to acquire knowledge about the historical context of Christianity from the birth of the Church and the encounter with Judaism and Paganism; to understand the school of thought that challenged the faith and the unity of the Church; to know the structure of the Church and different doctrines which developed during the history of Christianity; to understand different traditions and to evaluate the developing Eastern and Western Churches; to comprehend the role of the main personalities of the Church during this period; to write a scientific essay and to improve research and presentation skills.