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Early Christian Theology
TTH 11:30am - 12:20pm
An introduction to Christian theology and practice from the close of the New Testament through the period of the seven ecumenical councils and the major patristic theologians. The formative early centuries of Christianity are known as the patristic period, for the early fathers and mothers of the faith. This course takes a comprehensive approach to early Christianity, concentrating on the church’s faith-experience in light of its understanding of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the church, as well as biblical interpretation, theological anthropology, worship, spirituality, ethics, social realities, and political life. The course also includes a practical ministry module for those who wish to engage in a special ministry project as part of the regular coursework.
No previous experience is required; however, students will do best to begin the course with a basic knowledge of the biblical story of Jesus and the message of St. Paul: familiarity with Luke-Acts or Matthew or John, plus Romans, is recommended. This course serves as a preparation for the study of Christian history and theology in later historical periods, as well as contemporary systematic theology, and it will be assumed in all intermediate and upper-level courses in early Christianity, which are normally offered in the spring term. Readings for the first day of class will be listed on the syllabus posted on the Classes V2 website.
1. Regular preparation of the reading assignments and active participation in lectures and discussion sections (25%).
2. One 8-10 pp. papers on a topic relevant to the course; guidelines will be given in class (25%).
3. Mid-term exam (25%).
4. Final exam (25%).