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.
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.> > >
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%.