This course offers an in-depth study of early patristics. It focuses on the second century, during which Christianity emerged from the efforts of the apostles and sought to articulate the apostolic message with fidelity and clarity, both for itself and for its surrounding culture. Extensive reading of primary sources and careful consideration of secondary ones in a seminar format invite a high level of student participation.
- Learn the significance of this period for the history of Christianity.
- Learn and wrestle with the scholarly dissonance regarding Christianity in the early patristic period.
- Learn key figures who contributed to the articulation of the Christian faith during the second century.
- Learn and discern the varieties of patristic contributions from this formative period.
- Develop a sense of how deeply the Christian faith is rooted in second-century patristic teaching.
- Develop the ability to enter the intellectual world of the second-century Church fathers and “think their thoughts after them.”
- Read and intelligently discuss assigned readings.
- Engage in scholarly and professional interaction with colleagues in collegial fashion.
- Prepare and present a scholarly research paper on a topic rooted in primary sources from the second century.