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 and medieval Christianity to the Reformation and the contemporary world, and is enriched by many other departments and programs across the University (including 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, gender, and sexuality. The program aims to reverse the historiographical exclusions of a field that for too long privileged European men as the only makers of history; and to think both critically and comparatively about how various societies have managed human difference. Faculty emphasize the historical study of theology and religious thought; the diverse cultural contexts in which religious ideas and practices were formulated, expressed, and disseminated; the varied roles of Christianity in making social and political change; and the historical intersections of Christianity with other religious traditions around the world. The concentration requires at least eighteen credit hours in historical studies and the completion of either an academic or professional thesis.

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