Origins and Development of the Early Church

10 Units

This course surveys the development of the Christian Church from its beginnings in Jewish Christianity through to the early Middle Ages. Main areas include the transition from insecurity and persecution to acceptance as the religion of the empire; the Church Fathers and the beginnings of Christian theology and spirituality; the effects of tribal invasions, the spread of Islam and divisions between East and West in the Church.

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Humanities and Social Science
Availability Semester 2 - 2014 (Seminar - Broken Bay Institute)
Semester 2 - 2014 (UoN Broken Bay Institute - Online)
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be expected to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the beginnings and early development of the Christian Church with a survey overview;
  2. Relate their understanding of the development of the Church to factors influencing the history of the Roman Empire;
  3. Examine illustrative examples of early Christian life and theology as the expression of a changing Christian identity under the pressure of different social contexts;
  4. Make critical use of primary sources in constructing a historical account.

The course will be in three modules. 1. Beginnings and growth to 300CE, including the origins in Palestine, spread within the Empire, opposition and persecution, early organisation and ritual. 2. Consolidation from 300CE, including the influence of Constantine, theological controversies and development, changing spirituality. 3. The Church in a declining Empire, including reactions to tribal invasions and the emergence of Islam, growth of monasticism.

Replacing Course(s) THEO6002
Transition Students who have previously completed THEO6002 will not be permitted to enrol in RELT6002.
Assumed Knowledge Nil
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Assignment 1 - 1000-1500 words (20%)
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Assignment 2 - 2000-2500 words (40%)
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Assignment 3 - 2000-2500 words (40%)
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 130 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for RELT60022

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