The CENTER for the STUDY of
First, to foster an interdisciplinary approach to the study of early Christianity across the University.
Second, to provide space and resources that will help faculty and graduate students in the field to share their work, build on what they have achieved, and develop new ideas and projects.Three Key Principles The development of early Christianity has to be studied in its social, political, and cultural context. Although we pay close attention to theological ideas and religious practices, we have to reach beyond them and assess the character and impact of the circumstances in which they are observed. This includes in a special way both Jewish traditions and the influence of classical "paganism." We emphasize the importance of language skills and foster their development - Greek especially, but also Latin, Syriac, and Coptic (along with several other languages of the Christian Orient). Our students are expected to read easily in German and in at least one other European language other than English (normally French or Italian). Our aim is to develop within each student the skills proper to a range of disciplines and methodologies. To that end, we prescribe courses taught in the Departments of Greek and Latin and of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, and in the Schools of Theology and Religious Studies and of Philosophy.
Applying the Principles in Practice
Regular seminars bring together invited speakers from outside the university, all graduates working on early Christian topics, and faculty teaching and researching in the same field.
The History of the Center
Research in the field is now conducted in the Schools of Theology and Religious Studies, of Philosophy, and of Arts and Sciences (Departments of Greek and Latin, History, and Semitic Languages and Literatures).
News & Events
The Center for the Study of Early Christianity offers a variety of seminars and lectures throughout the academic term, many of which are open to the the public. Please refer to our Current Events link for a listing of the current seminars slated for the Spring Semester!