The development of Christianity from its origins in 1st century Judaism to the eve of the Reformation. Specific subjects include the development of the Tanakh, Jewish eschatology, Hellenism, the quest of the historical Jesus, Gnosticism and other so-called heresies, Nicaea, the Trinity, Augustine. Cross-listed as RELI 381. Prerequisite: HIST 101.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Most current editions of the following:
Christianity in Late Antiquity
By Bart Ehrman Recommended
From Jesus to Christianity
By L. Michael White Recommended
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography
By John Dominic Crossan Recommended
The Christian Tradition (5 vols.)
By Jaroslav Pelikan Recommended
The Gnostic Gospels
By Elaine Pagels Recommended
The City of God
By Augustine Recommended
Course Learning Outcomes
Explain and differentiate the three basic quests for the historical Jesus.
Describe the historical origins of Judaism and Christianity.
Analyze and compare ancient sources such as the Torah, the New Testament, Qumran Scriptures, and Nag Hammadi scriptures with modern scholarly interpretations.
Explain the influence of Hellenistic thought, Persian dualism, and Hebrew eschatology on the formation of early Christianity.
Analyze the archeology of Roman Palestine in the first century.
Analyze the role of heresy in the formation of Christian orthodox doctrines.
Describe the Council of Nicaea and the doctrine of the Trinity.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
Historical origins of ancient Judaism.
Basic features, political and religious, of Roman Palestine
Quests of the historical Jesus, from Reimarus to the Jesus Seminar.
Events leading up to the great Councils of the Church.
Doctrine of the Trinity.
Influence of Augustine in the Western Church.
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 25
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section.
However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.