2023-2024 Catalog

RELS 190 History of Early Christianity

From the 1st-6th centuries CE, early Christian communities throughout the Mediterranean had different ideas about who Jesus was, what kind of movement he inspired, and what it meant to be or to act like a Christian.  In this course, students will investigate the variety of early Christian communities that structured their movements around the figure of Jesus by studying their primary sources: stories, letters, sermons, theological treatises, art, artifacts and architecture.  Students will explore the practices and ethics that dictated the daily lives of early Christians, how they interacted with their Jewish and “pagan” neighbors, the theological issues debated among early Christian communities, including charges of "heresy" and the development of orthodoxy.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus
  • Pre-1800