CH001-712 – Christianity in History to 1550

Credit Points

12 Credit Points (CPS)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will

A. Know and understand

Demonstrate Functional knowledge and understanding of Christianity in history.

B. Be able to

1. Explain the major phases and developments in the history of Christianity down to 1550 in their political and social contexts

2. Evaluate the contribution of selected people to the development of Christianity to 1550

3. Synhtesise data from selected primary and secondary sources to formulate Critical historical viewpoints on the period down to 1550

4. Present Critical evidence-based perspectives on the history of Christianity to 1550

C. Be in a position to

1. Applying perspectives from the  ‘Christianity in History to 1550’ to inform ministry practice as a reflective practitioner


Section A: The Church in Imperial Rome:

  • Christians in society: the spread of Christianity to 312
  • The challenge of other religions and ideologies, especially Judaism and Gnosticism.
  • Caesar: enemy or friend? Decius, Diocletian, Constantine.
  • Wrestling with the faith: Origen, Arianism, Chalcedon.
  • Worship and popular religion in a collapsing society: 4th and 5th century trends: asceticism, pilgrimage, liturgy, icons.

Section B: The Church as Christendom

  • The conversion of Europe 600–900. The Holy  Roman Empire.
  • Christendom triumphant: the Western church in the 13th and 14th centuries. The development of scholasticism.
  • Byzantium, Islam and the Crusades.
  • Christendom challenged; protest and spiritual renewal mysticism. The conciliar movement.

Section C: The Continental Churches and Reform

  • Reform precursors; renaissance and new learning.
  • Reformation as massive change:
    • in Germany (1517–1530)
    • in Geneva (1536–1564)
  • Anabaptist groups
  • The Counter Reformation: Trent; the Jesuits; the papacy reformed.