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Viewing: REL 402 / HI 402 / HI 502 / REL 502 : Early Christianity to the Time of Eusebius

Last approved: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:59:12 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:59:01 GMT

Change Type
Major
REL (Religious Studies)
402
011593
Dual-Level Course
Yes
502
Cross-listed Course
Yes
Course Prefix:
HI
Early Christianity to the Time of Eusebius
Early Christianity to Eusebius
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Philosophy and Religion (16PHI)
Term Offering
Fall Only
Offered Every Year
Spring 2018
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
William Adler
Distinguished University Professor of Religious Studies
assoc

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture2525No25 per section, one section per semester
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisite, one of: REL 312, REL 317, or HI 207.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16RELSTBAB. A. in Religious StudiesElective
16HISTBAB.A. in HistoryElective
16HISTBSB.S. in HistoryElective
16HIMMinor in HistoryElective
Growth and diffusion of early Christianity from the end of the first century up to the time of Eusebius and the conversion of Constantine (early fourth century); Christianity in its Greco-Roman environment; Roman policy towards Christianity; heterodox Christian movements; anti-heretical writings; orthodox institutions of authority. Students may not receive credit for both REL /HI 402 and REL/HI 502.

An external review (Fall 2015) recommended increased offerings as permitted by existing resources for graduate students by creation of small "piggy back" versions of existing 400-level courses. In a post-review meeting with the Provost and Senior Vice Provost, the recommendation was favorably received. As the department had already agreed with the Dean of H&SS to increase its offerings to graduate students, having already proposed on 9/30/2015, four new 500-level "piggy back" versions of existing 400-level courses, it welcomed the recommendation to continue. As the 400-level version is already cross-listed with HI, it is anticipated that some HI graduate students may enroll.


[Last reviewed for GEP 1.2013]


Given that the REL/HI Enrollment history is as indicated below, the addition of five graduate

students would not impose an unmanageable added burden on the instructor:



  • 2014 Spring Term: 28

  • 2012 Fall Term: 11

  • 2011 Fall Term: 24

  • 2010 Spring Term: 26

  • 2009 Spring Term: 30

  • 2007 Spring Term: 29.


Undergraduate grading:



  • Short Paper: 15 % [4-6 pp]

  • Exam 1: 20 %

  • Exam 2: 20 %

  • Final Exam: 35 % [in class]

  • Classroom participation 10 %


TOTAL 100%


Graduate grading:



  • Short Paper: 15 % [8-10 pages]

  • Exam 1: 20 %

  • Exam 2: 20 %

  • Final Paper: 35 % [25-30 pages]

  • Classroom participation 10%


TOTAL 100 %


Graduate students must submit preliminary proposals for their final papers by April 4. Guidelines for

proposals will be provided several weeks in advance and students are strongly encouraged to

meet with the instructor to discuss proposals and to discuss issues that arise in writing the

paper.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Global Knowledge
Humanities
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Students will be able to apply an analytical and interpretive framework for reading and understanding the growth and diffusion of early Christianity by examining the religious and cultural environment in which it began and developed.
 
 
Questions on the first two hourly exams treat the following issues relating to the interpretation of human culture: Christianity and Greco-Roman religion; Christianity/Jewish relations; perceptions of Christianity by outsiders; Christianity in its regional settings (Asia Minor, Egypt, Rome, North African and Syria). (Ex. One of the arguments that pagan critics often made against Christianity was that Christians were subversive--that is, if the empire became completely Christianized, the institutions, practices and customs that made Roman "the eternal empire" would be endangered. Arguing against this view, some Christian apologists denied that Christianity represented any threat to the continued prosperity of the empire. Athenagoras even suggests that the Roman empire prospered only when Christians were able to practice their religion freely. In your opinion, who was right? In light of what you know about Roman religion and traditions, were pagan critics justified in seeing Christianity as a threat to social and political stability?)
 
 
Through close readings, students will demonstrate familiarity with the varieties of Christian literature in the first three centuries: historiography, apologetic, heresiology, canonical and extra-canonical literature, matryology, and epistolography.
 
 
All of the exams deal to varying degree with questions of interpretation. A small paper analyzing a one of two examples of gnostic writing. the Gospel of Thomas or the Apocryphon of John. (Ex. In class, we discussed the various ways in which Christianity and Christians were perceived and categorized by pagan critics and observers: “depraved superstition,” “haters of mankind,” philosophy for the uneducated classes, atheists, an illegal association. On what basis did pagan writers draw these conclusions? How did Christianity itself promote or nor promote such views?)
 
 
Students will be able to discuss, analyze and make reasoned arguments about the varieties of early Christianity and its history and literature in an academic and secular setting.
 
 
Exams, paper assignments. [Ex. In defense of Christianity, the apologist Athenagoras offers the following argument to the emperor: “Only in our case (and do no like the multitude be led astray by hearsay) are we hated for our name ... Names are not deserving of hatred: it is the unjust act that calls for penalty and punishment. And accordingly, with admiration of your mildness and gentleness, and your peaceful and benevolent disposition towards every man, individuals live in the possession of equal rights; and the whole empire, under your intelligent sway, enjoys profound peace. But for us who are called Christians you have not in like manner cared; but although we commit no wrong...you allow us to be harassed, plundered and persecuted, the multitude making war upon us for our name alone.” (Athenagoras, Legatio pro Christianis 1) Analyze this statement in the light of Roman legal policy concerning Christians in the first three centuries C.E.]
Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 
Students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the following subjects: 1) non-literary sources for early Christianity (e. g. Christian art); 2) the economic and social context of internal conflict and interactions within early Christianity and in its relations with ther movements and ideologies in the first three centuries.
 
 
Exams, paper assignments. (Ex. One of the documents we read in this section of the course was Justin Martyr's First Apology. In the context of conditions facing Christians in the first half of the second century, discuss the purpose of this work. Make sure to examine the following questions: How does Justin explain the origin of Greek and Roman religion? Does he say anything positive about Greek and Roman culture? And if so, why? Why is Justin so interested in the workings of demons? How does Justin address the legal status of Christians during his day?)
 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 
Students will be able to describe and analyze: 1) the Christianization of the Roman world and its aftermath; 2) the internal and external factors influencing the formation and development of Christian beliefs and practices, including development of the idea of orthodoxy and its institutionalization: canon formation, creeds, and forms of clerical authority.
 
 
Exams, homework assignments. (Ex. One of the arguments that pagan critics often made against Christianity was that Christians were subversive--that is, if the empire became completely Christianized, the institutions, practices and customs that made Roman "the eternal empire" would be endangered. Arguing against this view, some Christian apologists denied that Christianity represented any threat to the continued prosperity of the empire. Athenagoras even suggests that the Roman empire prospered only when Christians were able to practice their religion freely. In your opinion, who was right? In light of what you know about Roman religion and traditions, were pagan critics justified in seeing Christianity as a threat to social and political stability?)
US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Requisites and Scheduling
100%
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
NA
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
NA
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
Prerequisite: One of: REL 312, REL 317, or HI 207.
Students may not receive credit for both REL /HI 402 and REL/HI 502.
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
NA
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
Eusebius, History of the Church (Penguin; revised ed. 1989) $15.00
Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (Penguin, 1995) $16.00
A.D. Lee, Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity (London, New York: Routledge, 2000). $42.95

Additional readings are provided via library reserve, e-reserve and at the URLs listed in the syllabus.
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
This course surveys the history of early Christianity from the end of the apostolic period up to the early fourth century, ending with the conversion of the emperor Constantine.
The subjects treated in the course are divided into three parts:
Part 1: The problem of Christian self-definition
Part 2: Christianity in the Greco-Roman world
Part 3: The Christianization of the Roman Empire
See syllabus for additional detail.
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
None
College(s)Contact NameStatement Summary
College of Humanities and Social SciencesDavid ZondermanBecause this course is cross-listed with HI, we sought and received approval for creation of REL/HI 502.
Professor Adler continues to teach this course as part of his standard load. The additional graduate student enrollment is anticipated not to exceed five and can readily be managed without unduly burdening the instructor.

  1. To become familiar with the history of early Christianity.

  2. To acquire initial facility in historically appropriate techniques of textual analysis suited to Christian historiography.

  3. To describe and explain the complex relationships among religious and socio-cultural factors as they occurred in the early development of Christianity.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1. Describe the problem of Christian self-definition as it arose during the history of early Christianity, as evidenced in the mission and expansion of the early Church from its inception up to the early 4th cen C.E.

2. Apply historically appropriate techniques of textual analysis suited to Christian historiography, apologetic, heresiology, canonical and extra-canonical literature, matryology, and epistolography.

3. Identify the mutual influences among religious practices, religious doctrine and socio-cultural factors as they occurred in the early development of Christianity, specifically: Christian/Jewish relationships in the first three centuries, the problem of "heresy" in early Christianity, the stages in the formation of the idea of orthodoxy, an Christianization of the Roman Empire on the eve of Constantine's conversion.


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Short Paper154-6 pp for undergraduates; 8-10 pp for graduates
Multiple exams402 @ 20; take home essay exam
Final Exam35in-class, undergraduate only
Participation10assessed as specified in syllabus
Major Paper3525-30 pp, graduate only
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
PART 1: THE PROBLEM OF CHRISTIAN SELF-DEFINITION6 wkssee syllabus
PART 2: CHRISTIANITY IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD4 wkssee syllabus
PART 3: THE CHRISTIANIZATION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE5 wkssee syllabus
mlnosbis 9/6/2017:
1) Effective date should be Spring 2018; it is too late for Fall 2017 Reply 9/14/2017: OK (though the initial submission date of 3/22/17 made is not unreasonable to hope for an earlier disposition)
2) Course goals should be listed on the syllabus Reply 9/14/2017: Copied and pasted on page 3 of syllabus
3) Syllabus notes-
-Good representation of how graduate students will be graded differently than undergraduates
-Good description of grade breakdown
4) Will this course be capped at 5 graduate students, or is that just the expected enrollment? Reply 9/14/2017: 5 is the maximum it's reasonable to expect, but not a cap. A cap can be considered later if enrollment pressure warrants it.
5) What is the previous enrollment for the past few offerings of this course? Reply 9/14/2017: The most recent enrollments are already given under "Justification."

ABGS Reviewer Comments:
-No concerns.
mlnosbis (Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:39:04 GMT): Modified the course action and the workflow to include graduate approvals. This course action is now for the dual-level REL/HI 402/502 course.
Key: 3046