Patristics 301 has been developed for the non-Orthodox student as well as the Orthodox Christian seeking a deeper knowledge of their own tradition. Its content is the mixture of a broad survey and some detailed introduction to the development of Orthodox Christian Trinitarian Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Eschatology, Prayer & Spirituality (including monasticism and asceticism), Iconography, Sacramental Theology (including Liturgy), and Ecclesiology during the first millennium of the Church. Special emphases may be placed on (1) the development and outcomes of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils; (2) particular schools of thought (e.g., Cappadocian, Alexandrian, Philokalic, etc.); (3) specific Early Church Fathers (e.g., Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, etc.); (4) certain documents (e.g., Didache, Life of St. Antony, On the Holy Spirit, etc.); and (5) the theological differences in Eastern and Western Christianity. Ultimately, this course will explore the major questions that faced the early Church and help students understand how the Early Fathers responded theologically and spiritually.
Students will write five short, double-spaced papers, due at the end of each of the five modules. Prompts for these questions will be given at the beginning of each module and posted on the course page. All assignments will be uploaded by the student through the online learning portal.