Course Description Readings in and discussion of primary sources in the development of Patristic theology. Fall semester.
- To enable the student to read well, i.e., thoughtfully, carefully, and accurately primary texts in patristic theology and to intereact intelligently with relevant secondary literature in the field.
- The student "demonstrates understanding of the dogmatic (theological) development in the history of the church" (Source: WSC Student Learning Outcomes).
- The student "exhibits growing integrity, teachability/humility, perseverance, self-discipline" (Source: WSC Student Learning Outcomes).
- The student "gives reasons for convictions rather than merely asserting them." (Source: WSC Student Learning Outcomes).
Required Reading (see schedule below)
- Michael Holmes, Apostolic Fathers (Grand Rapids, Baker) (all)
- Tertullian, Against Marcion (ANF 3, 271–344)
- Tertullian, Against Praxeas (ANF 3, 597–627)
- Chrysostom, On Romans (NPNF, series 1, vol 11, 335–408)
- Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration on Holy Baptism (NPNF series 2 vol 7, 360–78)
- Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word (NPNF, series 2, vol 4, 36–67)
- Athanasius, Festal Letter 39 (NPNF, series 2, vol 4, 551–52)
- Augustine, De doctrina Christiana (NPNF, series 1, vol 2, 519–97)
Hour/Date Author/Topic Leader 1/Sep Historiography rsc 2/Sep Historiography rsc 3/Sep Ap Fathers, 33–131 (1 Clem) Student 4/Sep Ap Fathers, 132–65 (2 Clem) Student 5/Sep Ap Fathers, 166–271 (Ignatius 1) Student 6/Sep Ignatius (2) Student 7/Sep Ap Father, 272–343 (Polycarp 1) Student 8/Sep Polycarp (2) Student 9/Oct Polycarp (3) Student 10/Oct Ap Fathers, 334–69 (Didache) Student 11/Oct Ap Fathers, 370–441 (Barnabas) Student 12/Oct Barnabas (2) Student 13/Oct Ap Fathers 442–685 (Shepherd 1) Student 14/Oct Shepherd 2 Student 15/Oct Ap Fathers, 686–719 (Diognetus 1) Student 16/Oct Diognetus (2) Student 17/Nov Tertullian (Adv Marc) Student 18/Nov Tertullian, Adv Prax Student 19/Nov Chrysostom, Romans Student 20/Nov Gregory of Nazianzen (Oration) Student 21/Nov Athanasius (Incarnation/Canon) Student 22/Nov Augustine (De Doctrina) Student 23/Nov Augustine (2) Student 24-26/Nov Papers Student
- Irena Backus, The Reception of the Church Fathers in the West: From the Carolingians to the Maurists (Leiden: Brill, 1997), volume 2, part 3 (Renaissance, Reformation, Counter-Reformation).
- ——"Thomas Bradwardine (c. 1290–1349) and the Church Fathers" Studia patristica 28 (1993): 161–68.
- —— "The Bible and the Fathers according to Abraham Scultetus (1566–1624) and Andre Rivet (1571/73–1651): The Case of Basil of Caesarea" Patristik in der Bibelexegese des 16. Jahrhunderts 231 (1999).
- —— "Irenaeus, Calvin and Calvinist Orthodoxy: The Patristic Manual of Abraham Scultetus (1598)" Reformation and Renaissance Review 1 (1999): 41–53.
- —— "Calvin and the Greek Fathers" Continuity and Change (Leiden: Brill, 2000), 253–276.
The class and paper schedule is distributed via populi
Each class session will involve discussion of the assigned readings for that week. Each week a student will be assigned to lead discussion. About midway through the semester students will begin presenting papers in the second hour of class.
- It is impossible to benefit from or participate in this course without doing the reading.
- After the initial orientation, each class session will be led by a student who shall have prepared a brief (limit 1,000 word) seminar paper analyzing an assigned reading or introducing an assigned author/reading. Every student shall produce an outline of the assigned reading for the class session. Each member must bring to class a hardcopy of the readings assigned for that session.
- Each student will present a research paper to the seminar. Papers will be distributed to the seminar no later than 24 hours before the seminar in which the paper is to be read. Papers will be revised in light of comments and submitted to the instructor by 10AM on the last day of class. Papers must follow the requirements laid out in the Essay on the Writing of Essays.
Word limit: 2500 words (of text, not including footnotes).
Grades will be determined on the basis of class participation, seminar leadership, and the seminar paper.
Students who take class notes by computer tend to create a large, detailed transcript but they also tend not to analyze the information they are receiving. They hear the lecture but they do not listen to what is being said. In such a case, it is difficult to think about and interact with what is being said. As a consequence, students end the course with a large transcript of material with which they are not intimately familiar. This means that students have only reading week to master a large amount of relatively unfamilar class material for the final exam.
The student who takes notes by hand must synthesize and prioritize material. As a result, the student with handwritten notes has relatively less material to review before the exam. An informal survey of students with handwritten notes suggests that they felt better prepared for the final exam than they had with a large transcript.
It is not wise to rely on the class notes of others or upon study group (e.g., Google Doc) answers. You will be most successful if you do your own work.
- J. Stevenson's, A New Eusebius: Documents Illustrative of the History of the Church to AD 337
- Bettenson's The Early Christian Father's
- Early Christian Resources
- Early Christian Resource Page
- "The Chart"
- Caesars from AD 69–211
- Adler on Reading
- Christian Classics Ethereal Library
- St Augustine
- Project Gutenberg
- Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum
- Christian Latin
- Internet Archive
- Patrologia Latina
- Biblical, Judaica, Early Christian Resources
- Fourth Century Texts and Resources
- Biblia Patristica: Biblical References in the Fathers