10531 Early Christianity 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Ancient History or in Ancient History of the Jewish People

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including one course in Ancient History or in Ancient History of the Jewish People. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

Author: Rivka Nir. The materials include a Hebrew translation of The Shaping of Christianity: The History and Literature of Its Formative Centuries (100-800), by G. Vallee, and a collection of articles.

The course presents a critical analysis of the various aspects of early Christianity: the background to its appearance; the consolidation of its scriptures and theology; the image of Jesus and the main stories of his life as they appeared in the Gospels. An extensive discussion is dedicated to the consolidation of the early Church as it is told in Acts of the Apostles and to Paul, the central figure in distributing the belief in Jesus among the Gentiles.

These topics are analyzed through a systematic discussion of the major sources available (especially the New Testament), with an emphasis on the difficulties which these sources present for the historian and the ways proposed in the research to reconcile and clarify them.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.