The History of the Church

Christian Studies

his course will survey Christian history from an Orthodox perspective from the pre-Christian Jewish and Greco-Roman background through the early Roman, eastern Byzantine, western medieval and Reformation, and eastern Ottoman eras, through the Communist persecution, and up to the present. It will cover the development of Catholicism and Protestantism and their differences from Orthodoxy. We will do this by reading Fr. John Morris's The Historic Church, supplemented by many primary source readings in the early and later Fathers, as well as some Catholic and Protestant authors.

The study will include the history of the development of doctrine, practice, and church government, monasticism, persecution, worship, and the effect of Christianity on society in art, morality, slavery, status of women and children, government, and literature; and it will touch on the global expansion of Christianity in the last several centuries.

The class is primarily a read, listen, and discuss format with no quizzes or tests. However there are two kinds of written assignments: first, weekly short (one-paragraph) informal responses are required that are read by the teacher though not graded - these give the teacher further feedback about the student's level of engagement and focus. Though the weekly response is not graded, the number of responses turned in will be taken into consideration if evaluations are requested at the end of the course by the student and/or parents. Second, there will also be one graded paper assigned at the end of the course which is intended to show the student's grasp of the year's material and incorporation of it into his or her own thought. This will make up another element of the final evaluation. The student's participation in class is the third part of the final evaluation.