A study of medieval developments (A.D. 590-1517): the emergence of medieval Christianity, the monastic movement, missions and evangelism, challenges to the Gregorian line of the church, Eastern Orthodoxy, theological debates (e.g., predestination, Christ s bodily presence in the Supper, and atonement), the Crusades, mysticism, the subsistence or reality of ideas (e.g., realism, conceptualism, and nominalism), the rise of scholasticism, heresies (e.g., Albigensianism and Waldensianism), religious orders and their prominent theologians (e.g., Franciscans: Francis of Assisi, Bonaventure, and Duns Scotus; Dominicans: Dominic, Albert the Great, and Thomas Aquinas), the dissolution of the medieval synthesis, and forerunners of the Reformation (e.g., Thomas Radwardine, Gregory of Rimini, John Wycliffe, and Jan Hus).
In the medieval church history course the student will become acquainted with:
(1) Christian historiography: a biblical and theological approach to understanding history, with particular focus on church history.
(2) The history of Christianity from 590-1517 A.D. This will include
(a) an understanding of the narrative or chronology of the history of the medieval church;
(b) an understanding of developments, continuities, and changes in doctrine and practice in the medieval church;
(c) an understanding of debates, divisions, reform, growth, and decline in the life of the ancient medieval; and an understanding of the life and theology of key figures in the medieval church.
The student will be able to analyze and evaluate the above biblically and theologically, as well as comparatively within the context of ancient church history. The student will also develop the ability to make comparative applications to later periods of church history up to the present day. The course includes a strong focus on student interaction with, and discussion of, primary source documents.
Midterm and final exams
The research paper is a 3000-4000 word paper which will explore in depth a historical or theological topic from Ancient church history of personal interest to the student. The paper may not exceed 4000 words. It will reflect a thorough grasp of the relevant source documents and their history. It will also reflect an awareness of continued scholarly discussion on the topic expressed in journal articles and books to the present day. The paper will conclude with an assessment of the importance of its conclusions for the present day life and ministry of the church. Students may be required to present these papers to the class for discussion in a seminar format.
– Louis Berkhof, The History of Christian Doctrines. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1997. (p.114, 140-144, 171-179, 211-213, 232-234)
– Geoff Bromiley, Historical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978. (p.159-208)
– Earle E. Cairns. Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. (p.159-279)
– William Cunningham, Historical Theology. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1994. vol. 1 (p.413-458); vol. 2. (p.1-154)
– Tim Dowley, ed. The History of Christianity. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002. (p.226-347)
– G.R. Evans, ed. The Medieval Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Medieval Period. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, 2001. (p.1-373)
– Everett Ferguson, Church History: Volume One – From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. (p.327-523)
– F. Donald Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. New York: Routledge, 2002. (p.1-357)
– N. R. Needham, 2000 Years of Christ’s Power. Part Two: The Middle Ages. London: Grace Publications Trust, 1998. (p.8-460)
– Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: The Growth of Medieval Theology (600-1300). vol. 3. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. (p.1-326)
– Jaroslav Pelikan, Reformation of Church and Dogma (1300-1700) vol. 4. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975. (p.1-126)
– Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrikson Publishers, 1996. (vols. 4-6)