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An in-depth exploration into the socio-historical events that shaped early Christianity from the first through the fifth centuries. Utilizing primary resources (in translation), this course will chart the dynamic growth of the Christian movement from its Jewish origins within the Roman Empire to its dominance throughout the Mediterranean world. We will explore the Church's theological growth, the impact of the Second Sophistic and Neo-Platonism, the origins of desert monasticism, the Great persecution, Constantinian toleration and early conciliar formulations.

This course orients students to the various aspects of theological studies and the way theology functions in a faith community. Key issues such as faith, revelation, scripture, tradition, human experience, and worship are explored with an eye to how they are integrated into the entire displine of theology. The course aims at helping students develop a framework in which to understand how one engages in critical theological reflection in light of human experience in general and pastoral/ministerial life in particular.

Introduction to the theological and pastoral principles underlying the liturgical celebrations of the Church, the official documentation guiding the liturgical life of the Church, and the skills necessary for the preparation of and presiding at the worship of the Church.  Course assignments will be adapted to each student's worship tradition.


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