History of Christianity to 1250

History 185A

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
MWF 1-2P

Like adherents to many (but probably not most) religions, Christians looks to its origins to determine its essence. In this course we will attempt to understand those origins, from the early Roman Empire until Charlemagne’s revival of a “Roman Empire,” particularly in relation to the wider political, economic, and cultural conditions in which Christianity developed. We will evaluate the famous stories of conversion and martyrdom, grapple with Jesus’ postmortem identity crises (was he divine or human?), ask why Roman elites converted to Christianity and then left their cities for monasteries, and analyze Christianity’s survival and spread to barbarian lands as the western Roman Empire that generated empowered Christianity disintegrated--and then revived itself under Christian authority.

Course Books

The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, by Ehrmann, B. Oxford, 2011.. ISBN: 978-0199757534 Required
A Short History of the Middle Ages, by Rosenwein, B. Broadview Press. ISBN: 978-1442601048 Required
Constantine the Emperor, by Potter, D., Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0199755868 Required
From Jesus to Christ : the origins of the New Testament images of Jesus. by Fredricksen, Paula, Yale University Press, 1988.. ISBN: 978-0300084573 Required
The Rise of Western Christendom by Brown, P. Blackwell,. ISBN: 978-1118301265 | Required
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780192838667 Required
The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine by Eusebius Penguin. ISBN: 9780140445350 Required
Early Christianity by Humphries, Mark Routledge. ISBN: 9780415205399 Required
Early Christianity. A Brief History by Lynch, Joseph Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780195138030 Required
The Rise of Western Christendom. Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200-1000 by Brown, Peter Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 9781118301265 Required
The HarperCollins Study Bible by Attridge, Harold HarperOne. ISBN: 9780060786847 Optional