RELS434 - CHRISTIAN THGT 1000-1800

This course will trace the development of Christian thought (including philosophy, theology, spirituality and mysticism) from the early Scholastic period to early Methodism. Readings will be from both primary and secondary sources. A research paper will be required of each student. Spring 2014: This course will give an overview of the main currents of Western Christian thought from the first age of reform (that is, the Central Middle Ages) through the Reformations of the sixteenth century, to the eve of the Enlightenment. In these centuries, "Christendom" underwent an almost constant process of internal and external self-definition. The most striking results of this process were the definitive separation of eastern and western Christianity and the division of the western church into what became known as Protestant and Catholic Christianity. Our focus will be on the changing definitions of Christian culture, including theological formulations (definitions of orthodoxy and heterodoxy), trends of spirituality and mysticism, forms of worship, and gender roles and definitions. Attention will also be given to institutional questions such as ecclesiastical hierarchy, monasticism, scholasticism and the rise of universities, and the changing relationship between the secular and religious worlds. Readings will be from both original and secondary sources. Additional primary sources will be available online, attached to the course Blackboard page. I will supply copies of other readings. Students will write two papers. The first (due Feb. 8) is a 5-7 pp. analysis of a primary source from the class, for which another text may be substituted by permission of the instructor. The second paper, due at the end of the course, should be a more ambitious research paper (at least 10 pp. for undergraduates, longer for graduate students) that includes some aspect of thishistory we did not directly study in class.
Section 301 - SEM
W 0200PM-0500PM