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 flowering 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.

Unit code: CH8001Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate understanding of the dynamic meaning of church history


Analyse critically both primary and secondary historical sources


Present a critical evaluation of selected historical evidence from the period


Engage with debates on major historiographical issues surrounding of this period


Research and assemble evidence for a sustained historical argument on a selected event in early or medieval church history


Identify and discuss the inter-relationship between history and theology


Formulate reasoned historical interpretations of key moments in church’s history


Lecture, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

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


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Major Essay (3000 words)

3000 50.0

Minor Essay (1500 words)

1500 25.0
Document Study

Document Study (1500)

1500 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-03-26 09:49:05 +1100