Introduce students to the literature of the Fathers of the Church and Early Christian Writers from the first century to the council of Nicea, presenting them with a broad overview within their specific contexts.
1. Examine these texts in order to understand the issues and challenges of early church leaders. 2. We will study different genres of Early Christian literature (letters, sermons, apologies, martyrologies). 3. Consider the different ways that these writers dealt with issues such as biblical interpretation, Church leadership, worship, Christology, the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, and Greek and Roman policies and culture. 4. Texts will include the letters of Ignatius and Barnabas, Didache, writings of Justin Martyr, Melito of Sardis, Irenaeus of Lyons and Tertullian. Learning Outcomes: Students will be familiar with the ancient texts and how they are used today to give a clearer understanding of issues encountered by the early Church leaders. They will be able to identify and state the different approaches used by those writers to explain issues encountered in the early Church. They will express familiarity with the content and language of the texts and using and explaining the differences of approaches in expressing the problems encountered by early Church Fathers.
Textbook: DROBNER H.R., The Fathers of the Church: a Comprehensive Introduction (Peabody, Hendrickson 2005); BONIFACE R., Beginning to Read the Fathers: Revised edition (Paulist Press, 2012); CLAYTON J., Reading the Apostolic Fathers: A Student’s Introduction (Baker Academic, 2012); PELIKAN J., The Christian Tradition, vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition 100-600 (University of Chicago Press, 1971); SCHAFF P. (ed.), Ante-Nicene Fathers (Hendrickson Publishers, 1994).