This course introduces the history and traditions of roughly the first six centuries of Christianity, from the earliest writings in the New Testament to the earliest Christian contact with Islam. Students read early Christian documents, translated into English, on a wide range of topics:
- Christian theology and ritual
- early Christian ideas about gender and sexuality
- trends in early Christian art and architecture
- the growing movement in late antiquity toward asceticism
- Christian traditions about martyrdom
- the relationship of the emerging Christian community to political power.
There are two papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam. The course grade is based on your performance on those assignments along with your participation in and performance on assignments from section.
This is a four-credit class, with two 80-minute lectures and one GSI-led discussion section weekly.