Unit Code C-M

H7110/H8510 History of the Early Church

This unit provides an overview and general understanding of the early centuries of Christian history. It investigates the early Church in context: methodology and historiography; religious, cultural and social backgrounds of the early Church; the relationship between the early Church and the Roman state; Jewish, pagan and Christian perceptions; persecution and the phenomenon of martyrdom; internal tensions within the early Church: orthodoxy and heresy; aspects of an emerging Christian worldview; the ‘triumph of the Church’: Constantine, the Fathers, the Councils, and the Church in a declining Empire.

Study Level Undergraduate
Discipline Humanities in the Christian Tradition
Sub Discipline Church History
Credit Points 9
Prerequisites Nil

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of significant events in the early Church in light of their social, cultural and religious context
  2. account for contributions of leading figures in the early Church.
  3. illustrate the capacity to interpret primary sources from this historical period.
  4. exhibit the capacity to utilise the secondary sources relating to this period.
  5. demonstrate the importance to the Church’s present mission of key events and personalities in the early Church from the available literary sources



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