Religion 302W: History of Christianity
Mon., Wed., Fri. 10:30am to 11:35am, 318 Chapman Hall
course website: http://faculty.samford.edu/~drbains/ucbp101
David R. Bains, Assistant Professor
Office: 325 Chapman Hall, phone: 726-2879, email: email@example.com
Office Hours: Mon & Wed 1-3pm. I'll be happy to make an appointment for a different time, just let me know.
Course Description & Objectives:
Surveys the course of the history of Christianity and acquaints students with the intellectual, institutional, and cultural heritage of the Christian church. This course examines the diversity of Christian experiences through the twenty-one centuries of the Christian era.
Students will be able to:
Books available at the Samford University Bookstore:
Tim, ed. Introduction to the History of Christianity.
Denis R., ed. A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions.
Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity.
Karen Louise, ed. Tradition & Diversity: Christianity in a World Context
A copy of the Bible.
Access to course WebCT site
Requirements: subject to adjustment
Mid-term exam (take home essay(s)) (20%)
Final exam (in-class) (30%) While weighted toward later material. This will be cumulative including major persons, events, concepts from throughout the term. A study guide will be provided. The final will be at time and place announced by the university.
Essay (20%) An essay (8-10 pages) on a major theme that we have discussed throughout the course (e.g., sanctity, church and state, cultural adaptation of Christianity, justification) it can be focused more narrowly on late-medieval and early modern material (Reformation). You must write on one of the themes suggested. This essay will primarily be based on assigned reading for the course with a few other suggested articles.
Alternative: While I recommend the main option since it focuses on the reading you are doing throughout the term, students may choose to write a research paper on a topic of interest that is related to assigned course readings.
Details on this assignment will be provided by March 18. Proposals of students wishing to write research papers are due by April 4. Essay will be due by April 29.
Participation (30%) This includes class participation (explained in detail below) and other occassional quizzes, essays, and other assignments on the readings discussed in class that day.
Class procedure: As a rule
classes will begin with a discussion of the reading (focusing on the primary
sources). There are three study
questions before each of the readings in Jolly.
There is also one question for each of the readings in Janz in the Study
Guide available on the CD-ROM that comes with the book. These questions will help you read each of
the individual documents. Since we will
generally be discussing 2-4 documents each day, I will provide one or more
questions to help you synthesize the readings.
These last questions will be our departure point for our class
The questions for the day are listed on the syllabus. Other questions will be provided in-class or on the WebCT site.
I strongly suggest keeping a notebook in which you record your observations and questions about each of the documents we read. You should also jot down answers for the study questions. Leave room in the section for each document to record additional notes from our class discussions.
You should come to class each day (a) having done the assigned reading, (b) prepared to discuss the assigned questions and the readings in general, and (c) with your own questions about the readings (including things you didn't understand and things you think are interesting and want to discuss). On some days you may have particular assignments (e.g., short written essays, a position to prepare to debate, or an in-class writing assignment).
Your classroom participation will be assessed on the following scale:
Unattentiveness in class = 0, Good attendance and attentiveness = C, Strong attendance and active participation in class discussions (showing interest in topic or issues and familiarity with assigned materials) = B; Strong attendance, active participation in class discussions (showing interest in topic or issues and familiarity with assigned materials), and demonstrable leadership (somehow making a positive difference in the class dynamic) = A.
Class participation grades will be posted approximately every two weeks to the gradebook on WebCT. Poor attendance and frequent tardiness will hurt your grade.
enrollment, enter into voluntary association with
Attendance and Grading:
Roll will be taken each day. In a MWF class a student may miss six classes without penalty. After the seventh absence your final grade will be reduced one letter grade. After the ninth absence the student will receive an FA for the course. Three tardies count as one absence. If you come in after your name is called, you will need to notify your professor at the end of the class period, or else the tardy will become an absence. The Department of Religion grading scale is:
A= 100%-95%, A- = 94%-92%
B+ = 91%-88%, B = 87% - 85%, B- = 84%-82%
C+ = 81% - 78%, C = 77%-74%, C- = 73% - 70%
D+ = 69% - 66%, D = 65% - 63%, D- = 62% -60%
F = below 59%
All students with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodation must register with Disability Support Services #726-4078 or #726-2105. Thereafter, you are invited to schedule appointments with the instructor to discuss reasonable accommodation requests verified by Disability Support Services.
Attendance requires your active attention. Cell phones should not ring, if your cell phone rings or vibrates your final grade will be reduced by 1 point.
"Language—how it is used
and what it implies—plays a crucial role in
All papers should be typed and double spaced.
Occasionally, the readings and assignments may have to changed. I will announce these changes in class. If you miss class, check with another student before the next class to see if there were any changes.
1. January 26
Guest lecture by
Distribution of syllabi and first assignment.
2. January 28: History, Reform, and Orthodoxy
*Paul's Letter to the Galatians (any Bible, preferably NRSV)
*Acts of the Apostles 10:1-15:35
Gasque, "The Church Expands:
David Bebbington, "What is History" in Patterns in History, 1-20. (handout)
look over chart "The Christian Centuries," Dowley, 12-13.
Key terms: orthodoxy, catholic, heresy, Peter, Paul, history, apostle
Questions: Paul's letter to the Galatians reveals the clash between different movements in early Christianity, two rival orthodoxies. The Galatians were first evangelized by Paul. Later they were visited by other evangelists who sought to reform their Christian practice. Thus, in his letter Paul is engaged in the task of counter-reformation.
1.) How do Paul and his opponents support their positions? (What authorities do they appeal to? How do they seek to impugn the authority upon which their opponent's case is based?)
2.) What challenges do Christians encounter as they minister among the Gentiles? How does this appear to change it from its Jewish origins?
3.) Based on these early sources what appear to be emerging as the major beliefs and practices of Christianity?
4.) Given what Bebbington says about the role of argument in history, what argument does Luke appear to be making? What argument does Gasque make? What other arguments about the events and times they describe do you think you could make?
Recommended: The entire Acts of the Apostles
Hemer, "Archeological light on earliest Christianity," in Dowley, 69-77
Briggs, "Weighing up the evidence," in Dowley, 34-36.
3. January 31: Early Practice and Piety
First Apology of Justin Martyr, chapters 65-67 (handout) (Read Dowley, 94 for an introduction to this document)
Jolly, "Introduction," 3-9, 13-14, 22-26 (Apostolic Tradition), 28-34 (Dionysius the Wise)
Dowley, [sections on worship] [29-33,] 123-129, 152-161
Dowley, [apologists], 78-81
4. February 2, [Candelmas/Presentation of the Lord]:
Christianity and Rome
Jolly, 34-51 (Tertullian and Clement, Eusebius on Constantine and Helen, Symmachus and Ambrose)
BiblePlaces.com, "Church of the Holy Sepulcher," http://www.bibleplaces.com/holysepulcher.htm
Franciscan Cyberspot, Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre
Franciscan Cyberspot, Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, "The Byzantine monument at the Garden of Golgotha (335 AD)" http://www.christusrex.org/www1/jhs/TSspbyza.html
Franciscan Cyberspot, Bethlehem, "From Jesus to Emperor Justinian" http://22.214.171.124/www1/ofm/sites/TSbtjust.html
5. February 4: Heterodoxy and Orthodoxy I
Jolly, 52-63 [Gnostics and Origen]
Dowley, 96-122, 139-146, 148-151 [Gnostics and ante-Nicene theology,
6. Feburary 7: Christological and Trinitarian
Dowley, 164-186 [This is a very detailed (and very good!) history. Be sure to focus on 164-169 and 179-186]
7. Feb. 9, Ash Wednesday: Life and Death
Life of St. Antony 1-14. The complete text is online: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/vita-antony.html These three popular, widely read lives of saints reflect early Christian understandings of the holy life and death. Based on these, describe the kind of life that a Christian should live? What affect do you think these stories had on their early audiences? What similarities do you see between martyrdom and monasticism?
8. Feb. 11: Foundations of Medieval Thought
Jolly, 99-100, 105-106, 113-128
Recommended: Jolly, 101-106, 107-112 [Jerome on Bible and Augustine, Confessions]
9. Feb. 14 [Sts Cyrl and Methodius]: Monasticism and
Dowley, 212-224, 230, 307-309
10. Feb. 16: Eastern Christianity
Dowley, 247-259, 316-319
Jolly, 215-218, 154-159, 505-509
Recommended: Attend a Sunday service at an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern-rite Catholic Church. Birmingham has lots to choose from:
St. George the Great Martyr (Melkite) 425-Sixteenth Ave. S. ,Birmingham, AL 35205, (205) 252-5788
Holy Trinity / Holy Cross (Greek Orthodox) http://holytrinity-holycross.org/ 307 19th St. S., Birmingham, AL 35233 (205-716-3080)
St. Nicholas (Russian Orthodox) http://www.russianchurchusa.org/SNCathedral/english/rpcd.asp?ID=36 Brookside, AL (206) 674-1325
(Antiochene Orthodox) worships in Chapel of Mountain Chapel United Methodist Church, Rock Ridge Rd. (get info)
St. Symeon (Orthodox Church in America) http://www.stsymeon.com/sspics.html 3101 Clairmont Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205
11. Feb. 18: Christianity beyond the Mediterranean
Jolly, (7.4 Nestorians in
Dowley, 202, 217-219, 228-238
The texts here relate to the spread of Christianity beyond the Mediterranean to China, to the Franks in Gaul, to the Anglo-Saxons in England, to the Saxons in modern-day Germany and Belgium, and to the Vikings again in England.
Key questions: What strategies do Christian missionaries use to covert the pagans? Why do the pagans convert? What is the role of women? How is Christianity changing? How is it remaining the same?
Note on the Nestorian Stele from China: Students who have had "World Religions" or otherwise know something about South Asian and East Asia religions should recognize much familiar language in this text (emptiness, sutras, non-assertion, Teaching (or dharma), "heat of their distress" desire (kama). How does this text use these concepts to express Christian theology? Would a European Christian recognize this as Christian?
Note the "twenty-four Sages" refers to the Old Testament, Jews traditional count the TaNaK as containing 24 books (I & II Kings, I & II Samuel, I & II Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah) are each counted as one. The twelve "minor prophets" are also counted as one book.
12. Feb. 21: Popular Medieval Spirituality
Jolly, 255-282, 288-292
Recommended: Jolly, 238, 243-248 (John Scottus Eriugena)
13. Feb. 23 [Polycarp of Symrna]: Kingship and Investiture Controversy
Jolly, 218-237, 303-317
Dowley, 309-314 (Reforms of
14. Feb. 25: Crusades
15. Feb. 28: Bernard and Hildegard
16. March 2: no class
17. March 4: no class
18. March 7: [Perpetua and Felicity]: The Material Culture of Medieval Christianity
Jolly, 510-515 (Seven Sacraments)
Mapping Margery Kemp http://www.holycross.edu/departments/visarts/projects/kempe/
Windows in the Trinity chapel, Canterbury Cathedral http://www.uvm.edu/~lbrought/Chaucer.html
Canterbury Buildings. Very good for exterior of Cathedral http://weblingua.hostinguk.com/invictaweb/canterburybuildings/Index.htm
Medieval Images. Excellent collection http://www.pitt.edu/~medart/
19. March 9: Reform and Orthodoxy
Jolly, 321-332 (Beguin)
Jolly, 395-400 (Francis and Clare)
Jolly, 412-424 (Waldensians, Albigensians, and Spiritual Franciscans)
Dowley, 268-276, 320-329
20. March 11:: High Medieval Theology and Practice
Jolly, 387-395 (Innocent III and Fourth Lateran)
Jolly, 350-354 (Anselm)
Jolly, 357-362 (Averröes)
Jolly, 400-404 (Bonaventure)
Jolly, 405-411 (Thomas Aquinas)
Recommended: Abelard and Maimonidies (355-357, 363-368)
21. March 14: Spirituality: Mystical and Popular
Jolly 515-526 (Last Judgment from
22. March 16: Dissent and Reform in Late Medieval &
Janz, # 2 (p. 13-14) (Bontiface VIII,, Unam Sanctum)
Janz, #13 (pp. 57-68). (Erasmus)
23. March 18: Late
Medieval Debates on Justification
Janz, # 7-8 (pp. 38-50) (Brandwardine and
Spring Break / Holy Week (Gregorian/Western Calendar)
Reformations of the Sixteenth Century
24. March 30: Luther's
Autobiography and Controversy over Indulgences
Janz, #14-16 (pp. 69-78) Luther on Luther
Janz, # 9-11 (pp. 52-54) Documents on Indulgences
Janz, #19 (pp. 81-86) Luther, Ninety-five Theses
25. April 1: Luther's
Meditation on Christ's Passion in Janz, 86-90
To the Christian Nobility in Janz, 90-98
The Freedom of a Christian in Janz, 98-106
Recommended: Janz, #75-76
26. April 4 Building
Prefaces to the NT and OT in Janz, 106-111
Small Catechism, in Janz, 110-121
Smalclad Articles, in Janz, 122-138
Augsburg Confession and Apology of the Augsburg Confession on justification, in Janz, 138-144
Formula of Concord 145-149
27. April 6 Roman
Janz #77-79 (332-347) Cajetan, On Faith and Works in Janz, 333-346
Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification http://www.elca.org/ecumenical/ecumenicaldialogue/romancatholic/jddj/declaration.html
This document was adopted by the Lutheran World Federation and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church on October 31, 1999, the 450th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses. Please print this out and read it. Our discussion will focus on the sections beginning at paragraph 19.
Questions: What is faith for Cajetan? What is faith for Lutherans (see especially #27-28 in Janz)? Under what conditions do human actions "merit" divine rewards according to Cajetan? Why do Lutherans reject this argument? What role does Christ play in redemption according to Cajetan? What is the role of "charity" in Cajetan's theology?
How does the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification reconcile the two positions?
28. April 8 Zwingli,
Bucer, and the Reformed tradition
selections from Zwingli in Janz, 152-162
Twelve Articles of the Peasants, 165-167
Recommended: Erasmus, In Praise of Folly, 57-69
Questions: How does Zwingli's conception of the "Gospel" or "Word of God" compare to Luther's?
How does Zwingli's sacramental theology differ from Luther's? What ideas, views of the world, are responsible for this difference?
What similarities are their between the Twelve Articles of the Peasants and Luther's theology, particularly "To the German Nobility"? What would (or did) Luther think of their demands?
29. April 11 Anabaptists:
Hubmaier, Catechism, 172-176
Schleitheim Confession, only section VI is required, pp. 178-179. the entire document pp. 176-180 is recommended
Trial and Martyrdom of Michael Sattler in Janz, 180-183
Hans Derick, Concerning True Love in Janz, 183-190
Questions: Compare the Anabaptists to the Lutherans and Zwingli on Baptism, Eucharist, and Scripture.
Compare their understandings of the life of Christians and its relationship to the state to Lutherans.
30. April 13 Views
of Christian Community: Anabaptist and Calvinist
Hubmaier on Heretics, 170-172
Walpot in Janz, 194-201
Calvin, Geneva Ordinances, 214-218
Calvin, Institutes, 280-282 (4.20.1-3), 273 (4.2.4)
documents on Servetus Affair in Janz, 222-226
31. April 15 Reformed
Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, selections from Janz, 226-244, 253-268, 278-282
Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 4.17.10-12 [on the presence of Christ in the supper] (ON WEB-CT)
Calvin, , Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.7.6-14 (pp. 354-363 in Battles edition) Available online (scroll down to paragraph 6). http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/institutes/bookii/bookii09.htm
Rest of the selections from the Institutes in Janz. Book 4, Chapters 16 and 17 in entirety (Baptism and Lord's Supper)
32. April 22 Reformation
Nota Bene: In sixteenth-century English the semicolon (;) is the most important punctuation mark. Watch for it! Read it as a period! Otherwise your eyes may glaze over as you make you way through the 250-word sentences.
Cranmer, A Sermon on the Salvation of Mankind, 303-309
Thirty-Nine Articles, 317-324
Cranmer, Preface to the Great Bible, 294-302
Act of Supremacy, 285
Act of Uniformity, 313-314
Questions: What does Cranmer mean by a "true and lively faith"? How does his position on Justification compare to Cajetan's and the Lutherans? How does the sacramental doctrine expressed in the Thirty-nine Articles compare to Luther's? to Calvin's? How does the vision of Scripture and Tradition compare to the other reformers?
33. April 25 Counter Reformation & Catholic Humanism
Janz, 349-361, 363-368 [Decrees of Council of
April 22: Earth Day
Global Christianity in the Modern World
34. April 27 Global
Jenkins, The Next Christendom, 1-38
35. April 29 Foundations of Modernity: Enlightenment /
Nation-States / Colonialism
RHCT2, pp. 87-90 (Tindal). 101-106 (Lessing, and Kant) (to be supplied)
36. May 2: Foundations of Modernity: Confessionalism /Pietism
/ Evangelicalism / Voluntaryism
RHCT2, pp. 91-96, 101-106 (Spener, Wesley, and Edwards) (to be supplied)
37. May 4: Reformation in the Secular World: Ecumenism and
Documents of Vatican II, edited David R. Bains
Dulles, Avery. "
O'Malley, John W. "The Style of
Long, John F. et al. "Further Reflections on
O'Malley, John W. "
Dulles, Avery. "
38. May 6: World Christianity
Jenkins, 39-105 (skim chapter 5)
39. May 9
40. May 11
Final Exam: Friday, May 13, 10:30 AM