Introduction to the literature of the Fathers of the Church and Early Christian writers before the Council of Nicaea.
We will examine the texts of the Fathers of the Church and the Early Christian writers in order to understand the issues and challenges of early church leaders. We will study different genres of Early Christian literature (letters, sermons, apologies, martyrologies) and consider the different ways that these writers dealt with issues such as biblical interpretation, church leadership, worship, Christology, the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, and Greek and Roman policies and culture. Texts will include the letters of Ignatius and Barnabas, Didache, writings of Justin Martyr, Melito of Sardis, Irenaeus of Lyons and Tertullian.
JEFFORD C., Reading the Apostolic Fathers: A Student’s Introduction (Grand Rapids, Baker Academic 2012); PELIKAN J., The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition: 100-600, vol. 1 of The Christian Tradition (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1971); RAMSEY B., Beginning to Read the Fathers (Rev. ed. Mahwah, Paulist Press 2012); SCHAFF P. (ed.), Ante-Nicene Fathers (Peabody, Hendrickson Publishers, 1994).