a) To introduce candidates to the major developments in church history until the present day;
b) To introduce candidates to aspects of Christian history which have affected the church in their own cultural experience as well as the experience of others;
c) To give candidates an historical framework in which the better to understand their theological studies.
CH201 is an academic unit taught online throughout the semester. It requires 7 hours of study per week, which includes:
- Listening to the specially developed audio material
- Reading the course notes and set readings
- Interacting with online tutors and fellow students through the online forums
- Reflecting on what you have learned
- Completing written assessment tasks
- Studying and preparing for the exam
On completion of this unit, for the period down to 1550, students will:
A. 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
B. 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
C. 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 Menno Simons
- The Counter Reformation: Trent; the Jesuits; the papacy reformed. Ignatius Loyola OR Teresa of Avila