History of Christianity

The concentration in the History of Christianity trains students in the history of Christianity and in historical methods of analysis for the study of religion. The curriculum includes a wide range of courses, from early Christianity to the Reformation and contemporary America, and is broadened by the opportunity to take courses in other departments and programs of the University (for example, in Religious Studies, History, American Studies, African American Studies, History of Art, and Classics). Students are challenged to engage with the past in ways that treat earlier cultures with integrity, while exploring how those pasts continue to inform our present. Through the rigorous study of manuscript, printed, visual, and oral sources, students learn a range of methodologies and approaches to history as well as enter current debates on topics such as memory, war, race, and gender. Faculty emphasize the historical study of theology and religious thought; the cultural contexts in which ideas were formulated, expressed, and disseminated; and the historical intersections of Christianity with other religious traditions. The concentration requires at least eighteen credit hours in historical studies, and students are encouraged to complete a thesis, especially if their plans include further graduate work.

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