HIST/CLHU/REL 424: Early Church
The Rise of Christianity in the Greco-Roman World

Spring 2017
12:30-1:45 TTh
East Hall 213
C M Lehmann
Office Hours: 11-12 TTh
East Hall 210, clehmann.org; clehmann@usd.edu

This course treats the emergence of Christianity and the early history of the Christian Church within the pagan, and then Christian, Roman Empire. Through readings in and discussions on ancient texts and modern interpretations, through lectures and presentations, and through research and writing in a specific problem, the student will become familiar with the development of the Early Church in its historical context and with the techniques and discoveries of modern historians, archaeologists, and textual critics.

ELECTRONIC-DEVICE-FREE CLASSROOM. Turn off and stow your electronic devices before the class begins.

Students must fulfill the following requirements: midterm and final examinations (50 points each) and a short (5-10 pp) research paper on a topic approved in discussion with the instructor (10 points preliminary bibliography and 40 points final paper). Grading: of a total of 150 possible points, 135-150 = A, 120-134 = B, 105-119 = C,90-104 = D. A student who expects to miss more than two meetings should consult the instructor in the first week. University-sanctioned events or medical/family emergencies alone constitute valid reasons to miss class: inform your professor in advance.  Students with excessive unexcused absences will either find themselves dropped from the class roster or they will receive a reduced final grade.

Click here for required statements concerning freedom of learning, cheating, diversity, ADA policy, and outcomes of learning.

Click here for suggested paper topics.

Start your research with the textbook, then consult the following resources. The bibliography (NOT a reference list) must include an annotation explaining how you found the item and how it serves your topic. Do not include any Web sites in your bibliographies; if you wish to include an article you consulted in a full-text database (eg, an article in JSTOR), give the citation for the print version. You must use Chicago bibliographic style, which uses footnotes for documentation. Consult the instructor for assistance if you have not used Chicago style before. The following item is in Chicago footnote style

Students must have the following books, which are available at the bookstores (these items are in Chicago bibliographic style with ISBNs added):


Part One: Christians and Jews

10 Jan Introduction: The Desert and the Sown; excerpt from Seven Pillars of Wisdom; Theocritus Idyll 2.
12 Jan Hellenistic and Jewish Background (Chadwick ch 1)
17 Jan Christianity and Jewish Sectarianism (Manual of Discipline, Qumran)
19 Jan NT Criticism (Mark and handouts: synoptic problem, ending of Mark)
24 Jan Paul and the Gentiles (Acts of the Apostles, Galatians); map of the journeys
26 Jan Authority and Unity in the First Century Church (Chadwick ch 2)
31 Jan Disc: The letters of Clement and Ignatius and the Didache (in Staniforth)
2 Feb The Blood of the Martyrs
7 Feb Disc: The letter and martyrdom of Polycarp (Staniforth)
Advice on researching early church history
Deadline: Have paper topic approved

Part Two: Christians and Pagans

9 Feb Eusebius
14 Feb The Expansion of Christianity (Chadwick ch 3)
16 Feb The Apologetic Movement (Chadwick chs 4-6)
21 Feb

Crisis and Conversion: The Third Century

23 Feb Early Christian Art and Architecture I
28 Feb Early Christian Art and Architecture II
2 Mar No class: research day!
14 Mar Catchup and review
: Submit annotated bibliography
Study guide

Part Three: Christians and Romans

21 Mar The Persecutions: First Phase (Chadwick ch 7)
23 Mar The Persecutions: Second phase
28 Mar Constantine (Chadwick chs 8-9)
30 Mar The Christian Empire
4 Apr The Pagan Reaction and Christian Triumph (Chadwick chs 10-11)

Part Four: Christians and Heretics

6 Apr Orthodoxy and Heresy (Chadwick chs 12-13)
Deadline: Term paper due
11 Apr The Trinitarian Controversies (Chadwick ch 14)
13 Apr The Christological Controversies and
18 Apr The Ecumenical Councils and the Byzantine State (Chadwick chs 15-18)
20 Apr No class: Student History Conference
25 Apr Asceticism
27 Apr The Church in the West
Discussion: Augustine's Confessions 1-9
: Revised term paper due (optional)

12:30-2:30 pm Wednesday 3May:  FINAL EXAMINATION
Study guide