To offer a thorough reading of the history of the Church, from her beginnings until the end of the 7th century, through a methodology that allows students to acquire a reliable capacity of reading, inquiring, and synthetizing.
1. Introduction: sources, method, periodization. 2. Part I: From the origins to the early 4th century: General situation of the Greco-Roman world, the Jewish world, and the crisis of the Judeo-Christianity. The early Church and the propagation of Christianity. Persecution and clash with pagan culture. Gnosis and first heresies. Monarchical and hierarchical organization of the Church. 3. Part II: From the Constantinian peace to the end of the 7th century: End of the persecutions and the Constantinian shift. The Trinitarian controversies and the great ecumenical Councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople (380-381). Origin and development of monasticism. Christian life and social influence of Christianity. The Christological disputes of the fifth century and the Councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451). Church and State in the Byzantine Empire and the second Council of Constantinople (553). The Church and the Barbarians. The Monothelitism and the third Council of Constantinople (680-81). The beginning of medieval civilization. Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to: Acquire knowledge about the birth of the Church and her encounter with the Jewish religion and paganism; understand the currents of thought that challenged the Christian faith during the first centuries and contribute to define it dogmatically; know the development of the Church in her structures and traditions; understand and appreciate the differences between the Eastern and Western configurations; know the role and teachings of some key personalities of the Church until the VII century; deal with different historical resources in order to create a critical thinking.
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