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CT1013S

Theological Issues of the Early Church

Foundational unit for postgraduates

Content: This unit explores some developments of theology within the early church that have been seminal for later theology. The theological themes investigated include the unity and diversity in the faith of the early Christian communities, the tension between charismatic and institutional forms of ministry and authority, the Trinitarian and Christological debates within the church, the Donatist and Pelagian disputes.

Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that undergraduate students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of selected primary texts of early Christian theology and secondary material relevant to their interpretation
  2. Work competently with appropriate resources for the study of the early church
  3. Identify the main theological themes and their development in the period under study
  4. Integrate an understanding of the major theological controversies of the period with enduring theological issues of Christian thought
  5. Demonstrate basic skills necessary for theological reflection on historical texts.

Postgraduate students will be able to

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of selected primary texts of early Christian theology and secondary material relevant to their interpretation
  2. Work competently with appropriate resources for the study of the early church
  3. Identify the main theological themes and their development in the period under study
  4. Integrate an understanding of the major theological controversies of the period with enduring theological issues of Christian thought and demonstrate an ability to discuss their significance for the ongoing life of the Church.
  5. Work critically with historical texts, demonstrating a confident use of primary skills and approaches used in historical studies, with an appreciation of their contribution to theological study.

Pre-requisites: For CH2013: 15 points in Church History

Prohibited combinations: CH1013S or CH2013S and CT1013S

Faculty: Kerrie Handasyde

Class Time: Three hours per week

Offered: 2014, semester 2

Assessment:

First level:
Two document studies (700 words each) 40%
Two essays of 1,300 words 60%
Second level:
Two document studies (750 words each) 40%
Two essays of 1,500 words 60%
Postgraduate:
Four document studies (750 words each) 50%
One essay 3,000 words 50%

Select Bibliography:

Augustine, Confessions, trans. with an introduction, R.S. Pine-Coffin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961.
Behr, J. The Way to Nicaea. Crestwood: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2004.
Bonner, G. God’s decree and man’s destiny: studies in the thought of Augustine of Hippo. London: Variorum, 1987.
Burrus, V. ed. Late Ancient Christianity: A People’s History of Christianity Vol. 2 (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2005).
Chadwick, H. Heresy and orthodoxy in the early church. London: Variorum, 1991.
Chadwick, H. The Early Church, rev. edn. London: Penguin, 1993.
Ellingsen, M. Reclaiming our Roots: An inclusive Introduction to Church History, Vol. I. Harrisburg, Penn: TPI, 1999.
** Guy, L.D. Introducing Early Christianity: A topical survey of its life, belief and practices. Downers Grove IL: IVP, 2004.
Hall, Stuart. Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992).
Humphries, M. Early Christianity (London: Routledge, 2006).
Johnson, L.T. The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2003.
Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines. London: Continuum, 2001.
Lossky, V. Orthodox Theology: An Introduction, trans. Ian and Ihita Kesarcodi-Watson. New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1978.
————. The Vision of God, trans. Ashleigh Moorhouse. New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1983.
MacCulloch, D. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years. London: Allen Lane, 2009.
Norris, R. A. (ed.). The Christological controversy. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980.
Pelikan, J. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600). Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1971.
———-. Jesus through the centuries: His place in the history of culture. New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1999.
Shelley, BL. Church history in plain language. Waco: Word, 1995.
Williams R. (ed.). The making of orthodoxy. London: SCM, 1983. CUP 1988.
Young, F. From Nicaea to Chalcedon. London: SCM, 1983.
———- . The making of the creeds. London: SCM, 1991.