n this class, we will survey the controversies and conflicts that produced the religion that transformed the Roman world. We will explore early Christian attempts at self-definition, including struggles over the relation between Christianity, Judaism, and Greco-Roman paganism; conflicts over inspiration and authority; the formation of the Christian canon; controversies over the status of the body and the role of women in the church; debates over the nature of God, creation, and salvation; and the invention of the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy.
In the course of CC 365, Heresy & Conflict, you will:
- explore the diversity of early Christianity and become familiar with the development of Christian doctrine and institutions in the first four centuries;
- assess the rhetoric of orthodoxy and heresy, and the methods by which a (more or less) single orthodox Christianity emerged from the plurality of early Christianity;
- become more sensitive, sophisticated readers of ancient texts and modern scholarship.
Furthermore, students will develop critical reading and thinking skills through class discussion and written exercises.
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