Students in this unit will be introduced to various ‘turning points’, or times of fundamental change, in the history of Christianity from the first century to the twentieth. They will be able to trace the development of the Western Christianity from first-century Palestine into the Roman Empire of the first five centuries of Christianity, and on to the Christian Church of the European Middle Ages. Students will be led through the critical turning points of change in modern Western Christianity, including the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and tensions between Church and state. After examining major turning points of change that influenced Western Christianity as it emerged following the Protestant Reformations of the sixteenth century. To avoid a completely western-centric history, students will also learn some of the watersheds of change in eastern and Asian Christianity.

Unit code: CH8321Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Wollaston Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Analyse ways in which Christianity has been influenced and shaped by wider religious, social, economic, and political forces at various points during its history


Outline aspects of Christian faith that were important to Christians during these turning points in the history of the Christian Church


Outline an awareness of the variety of scholarly interpretations of at least one period of Christian history


Critically analyse a primary source of one period of Christian history


Lectures and seminars, or similar.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Alister E McGrath, Christian History: An Introduction (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013)
  • Henry Bettenson & Chris Maunder, Documents of the Christian Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th edn 2011)
  • Diarmaid, McCulloch, A History of Christianity (London: Penguin, 2009)
  • Euan Cameron, Interpreting Christian History (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005)
  • Linda Woodhead, An Introduction to Christian History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Prss, 2004)
  • Mark Ellingsen, Reclaiming our Roots: An inclusive Introduction to Church History (Harrisburg PA: Trinity Press, 2 vols. 1999)
  • H Joseph H. Lynch, The Medieval Church (1992)
  • Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (revd edn., 1993)
  • Justo L Gonzalez, The story of Christianity vol 2: Reformation to the present day (rev. edn 2001)


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Source Analysis 1500 25.0
Essay 2000 35.0
Essay 2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 18 Nov, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-11-18 10:41:51 +1100