TS112 Church History (Early Christianity)

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Module Level

Level 8

Time Allowance

3hrs on-campus lectures (over two residential weekends) + 1hr live (synchronous) lecture online every Wednesday evening + 1hr self-directed learning (asynchronous) every week (not including preparation time for essay and additional reading)


Essay (1,500 words)

Module Aims

  • To provide students with the skills necessary to navigate early sources regarding Jesus of Nazareth.
  • To help students appreciate the various stages of development of the Christian Church from the first to the fourth centuries. To introduce students to key personalities in the history of the early Christian Church.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students should have a general knowledge of the relevant historical sources for the life of Jesus of Nazareth, an awareness of their strengths and limitations, and their enduring value for the historian, the theologian, and Christian believers more generally.
  • Students should understand relations as they developed between Judaism and Christianity, two growing “siblings” in the first and second centuries.
  • Students should appreciate how Christians had difficulty integrating into daily life in a pagan empire, and why bursts of persecution, both spontaneous & local, and systematic & empire-wide, erupted from time to time, and what impact this had on the development of Christian identity.
  • Students should recognise the significance of the “conversion” of the emperor Constantine in the fourth century for the subsequent history of the Christian Church.


  • A general bibliography will be provided on the module's Moodle page