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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Eugene Vance
RELIG 421
Seattle Campus

The Age of St. Augustine

Christian church in the fourth and fifth centuries as a major institution in the Roman Empire. Great figures of patristic theology, such as Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine. Recommended: HIST 307, RELIG 320, or RELIG 324.

Class description

The course will deal with a transitional moment in Western culture when Christianity came to power as the official religion of the Roman Empire, bringing with it new spiritual models, new art forms, new discourses, and new ethical values. Our concern will be to underscore the dynamism of a culture that suddenly faced deep contradictions from within, constantly improvising new priorities and, at the same time, laying many foundations of modern culture.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The course will be based on a combination of lectures and discussion, with St. Augustine's Confessions as a central reference point.> > >

Recommended preparation

An open-minded approach to ethical and spiritual questions that shape the intellectual life of Late Antique and Early Christian culture.

Class assignments and grading

Readings of primary texts from the 4th and 5th centuries in English translation. Writing a final paper, due at the quarter's end. >

Attendance, preparation of assignments: 25 %. Contribution to the discussion, 25%. Final paper (10-20 pp.): 50%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Loryn R. Paxton
Date: 06/03/1998