Spring 2014

History of Christianity--The Early Years

Listed in: Religion, as RELI-275

Formerly listed as: RELI-45


Robert Doran (Section 01)


This course investigates the fascinating story of how a movement which started in a small unimportant province of the Roman Empire rose to a privileged status within that Empire.  We will explore the many ways in which followers of Jesus attempted to articulate who Jesus was and the many “Christianities” that arose from these attempts.  Was he divine or human or something in between?  If divine, what was the relationship between God and Jesus?  All of these debates and conflicts were played out against the background of a Greek understanding of the divine, the universe, and what it was to be human, and the backdrop of the Roman Empire where the emperor was held to be divine.  We will examine the Christian separation from Judaism and the growing intolerance towards Judaism.  Finally, we will inquire how Christianity consolidated its creedal formulation once it enjoyed a privileged position under the first Christian emperor, Constantine.  This creedal articulation was to dominate the Western Roman Empire throughout the medieval period but was to cause disunity and fraction within the Eastern Roman Empire.

Spring semester.  Professor Doran.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014