THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY
Professor James Felak
Office Hours—Wednesday, Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Or by appointment
Office: Smith Hall 112-B
This course will cover twenty centuries of the history, thought, and culture of Christianity, focusing on the key events, developments, personalities, achievements and conflicts.
Christianity in Antiquity
(topics include the relationship of Christianity toward Judaism and toward classical Greek and Roman civilization, life in the early Church, the conversion of the Roman Empire and establishment of Christianity as the official religion, the definition of orthodoxy and heresy by Church councils, and the life and teaching of St. Augustine)
Christianity in the East
(topics include the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Byzantine Empire, conflicts over the nature of Christ, the iconoclastic controversy, the split with the Western Church, and the challenge of Islam)
Christianity in the Middle Ages
(topics include the conversion of the barbarians, the papacy, the Crusades, monks and friars, Christian life in the Middle Ages, and medieval theology, spirituality, and culture)
Christianity and the Reformation
(topics include the Lutheran, Calvinist, Radical, English and Catholic Reformations, the expansion of Christianity, and the wars of religion)
Christianity and Modern Times
(topics include the challenges presented to Christianity by the emergence of the modern world, focusing on the responses of Christianity to modern currents of thought, Christians and social problems, intra-Christian and interreligious relations, and some contemporary theological issues)
Two essay examinations and two short (2 to 3 page, double-spaced) papers.
Thursday, 1/25 at Noon--paper on Augustine due
Thursday, 2/8 at class time--first examination
Thursday, 2/22 at Noon--paper on Dante due
Thursday, 3/7 at class time--second examination
Papers on Readings--33% (each worth 16.5%)
Whenever appropriate, I will communicate with the class over the class list. Everyone enrolled in the course will be automatically on the class list. These messages can be accessed through your UW e-mail account. I will not send them to your personal accounts. If you write to me via e-mail, use my firstname.lastname@example.org address, not via Canvas.
Course materials (syllabus, lecture outlines, reading assignments, handouts for exam preparation) will be posted on the Canvas site for the class. The outlines will also be sent out to students on the class list before each lecture, as will any pertinent maps or images for the upcoming lectures.
Saint Augustine, Confessions, translated by R. S. Pine-Coffin
(Penguin Classics, ISBN No.: 9-780140-441147)
The Portable Dante, edited and translated by Mark Musa
(Penguin Classics, ISBN No.: 0-14-243754-9)
Both of these readings should be available at the UW Bookstore on the Ave. It is essential that students procure the specific editions listed above. This is particularly the case for the Dante reading, as much of the reading will entail the summaries written by the editor Musa.
(There is no textbook for the course)