Introduce students to the literature of the Fathers of the Church and Early Christian Writers from the first century to the council of Nicea, presenting them with a broad overview within their specific contexts.
1. Examine these texts in order to understand the issues and challenges of early church leaders. 2. Study different genres of Early Christian literature (letters, sermons, apologies, martyrologies). 3. 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 include the letters of Ignatius and Barnabas, Didache, writings of Justin Martyr, Melito of Sardis, Irenaeus of Lyons and Tertullian. Learning Outcomes: - Students will be familiar with the ancient texts and how they are used today to give a clearer understanding of issues encountered by the early Church leaders. - They will be able to identify and state the different approaches used by those writers to explain issues encountered in the early Church. - They will express familiarity with the content and language of the texts using and explaining the differences of approaches in expressing the problems encountered by early Church Fathers.
Textbook: DROBNER HUBERTUS R., The Fathers of the Church: A Comprehensive Introduction (Ada-MI, Baker Publishing 2005).. Bibliography: BONIFACE RAMSEY, Beginning to Read the Fathers (Mahwah Paulist Press 2012); CLAYTON JEFFORD, Reading the Apostolic Fathers: A Student’s Introduction (Ada-MI, Baker Publishing 2012); JAROSLAV PELIKAN, The Christian Tradition: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), vol. 1 (Chicago, University of Chicago Press 1971); SCHAFF PHILLIP (ed.), Ante-Nicene Fathers (Peabody, Hendrickson Publishers 1994).