Besides getting the basic knowledge of facts, events, personalities of the Church’s founding centuries, Students will acquire a sense of context (the Mediterranean Greco-Roman world), appraise the adjusting of Christianity to the pagan world, gain a positive view of the development of ecclesial structures and doctrines; they will be able to identify the rich diversity of the different ecclesial traditions and evaluate the elements of estrangement slowly developing between the Eastern and Western Churches.
General introduction to Church History. 1. Beginning of Christianity (6BC- AD 395). The Church in a Pagan Empire (6BC-AD 313).The Primitive Church.The Post-apostolic Period. Encounter between Christianity and Paganism. Internal life of the Churches in the first three centuries. 2. The Imperial Church (AD 313-395).Organization and expansion. Theological disputes. Beginning of the Golden Age of Patristic Learning. 3. The Scattered Churches (AD 395-694). a. The First Church: A Church under imperial rule. Conditions of the Eastern Empire.Organization of the Eastern Church, Rise of Constantinople.Christological controversies. b. The Second Church: A Church in turmoil. State of Empire and Church.Controversies and intellectual personalities. Two columns of the new world in construction: Papacy; Coming of age of western monasticism. General Conclusion.
BELLITTO C.M., The General Councils. A history of the Twenty-One Church Councils from Nicaea to Vatican II (New York, Mahwah, 2002); CHADWICK H., The Early Church (London, Penguin books 1993); COMBY J., From the beginning to the fifteenth century, vol 1 of How to read Church History (London, SCM, 1988); CROSS F.L. (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London, Oxford University Press 1963); FREND W.H.C., The Rise of Christianity (London, Fortress Press, 1984); VAN DER MEER F.-MOHRMANN C., Atlas of the Early Christian World (London, Nelson, 1959); MEYENDORFF J., Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions. The Church 450-680 AD (New York, St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1989); WARE Th., The Orthodox Church (London, Penguin, 1984).