1st semester Wednesday evening                                                            (Min. No. 8)



This unit fulfils two major functions.  Firstly to introduce students to modern skills in the discipline of history: historiography, historical consciousness, research skills, critical use of sources, interpretation methodologies, and presentation of evidenced historical arguments.  Secondly, to introduces students to the broad sweep of church history from the end of the apostolic era (c.100CE) to the end of the era of feudal states and of the first flowerings of the Renaissance in the mid fourteenth century.  Particular emphasis is placed on the development of the fundamental doctrines and structures of Christianity, the mutual relationships between Church, State and Culture, the Crusades, the observances of popular religion and challenges to the Church’s authority in the High Middle Ages, leading to the growth of movements towards reform.





Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate understanding of the dynamic meaning of church history
  2. analyse critically both primary and secondary historical sources
  3. present a critical evaluation of selected historical documents from the period
  4. engage with debates surrounding major historiographical issues of this period
  5. research and assemble evidence for a sustained historical argument on a selected event in early or medieval church history
  6. identify and discuss the inter-relationship between history and theology



800 word material culture study (20%); 1200 word document study (30%) 2000 word research essay (50%)


BIBLIOGRAPHY  * = set texts recommended for purchase

*Bettenson, Henry, and Chris Maunder, eds. Documents of the Christian Church. 3rd ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1999. (or other versions)

Bradley, James, and Richard Muller. Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works and Methods. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995.

Brooke, Rosalind and Christopher Brooke. Popular Religion in the Middle Ages. 2nd ed. London: Thames and Hudson, 1984.

Brown, Peter. The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, AD 200-1000. 2nd Ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003.

Cooper, Kate. Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women. London: Atlantic Books, 2013.

Eusebius of Caesarea. The Church History. Edited by Paul Maier. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2007.

Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003.

Gonzalez, Justo L. The Changing Shape of Church History. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2002.

Dale, Irvin and Scott Sunquist. History of the World Christian Movement. Vol 1. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000.

Logan, F. Donald. A History of the Church in the Middle Ages. London: Routledge, 2002.

MacCulloch, Diarmaid. Christian History: An Introduction to the Western Tradition. London: SCM Press, 2012.


Lecturers:        MATTHEW BECKMANN OFM