This course provides both an overview of the history of the Christian Church and an introduction to the importance and techniques of an historical approach to the Christian experience. We will connect problems, themes, and practices central to Christian history in four (somewhat arbitrarily divided) historical periods - the early church, the medieval era, the Reformation and its analogues and aftermath, and the “modern” and contemporary period - and across a variety of locales. The commonality of these problems, themes, and practices will of course be met with a diversity of solutions and approaches, providing a picture of the Church’s constant responsiveness to, and mutation by, the cultural setting in which it is found. The goal is twofold: first, to provide a severely limited yet reasonably useful overview of two millennia of the Christian faith in its continuities and variations; and second, to develop a minimum competence in historical research and investigation, prompting a deeper understanding of the development of the Christian faith and its people and institutions. Some attention will also be paid to contemporaneous and/or analogous developments in other faith traditions, and their influence on, or engagement with, the Christian community.
CH 101 is required for all M.A. students who are not concentrating in History (both Tracks 1 and 2) and for all M.Div. students pursuing Option B. It may be taken as an elective with the teacher’s permission.