History of Christianity to 1500
Dr. Karen Jolly
University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of History
Office: Sakamaki A408 956-7673
Office Hours: TBA
Hildegard of Bingen
The emphasis of this course is on the historical development of western European Christianity within the context of world history. The course follows a chronological study of the religion from its beginnings to 1500, with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of primary sources (documents and artifacts). The course fulfills the History major world/comparative category and also the General Education Ethics Focus requirement.
Ethics in historiography (the study of history) involves both a respect for the past and an awareness of our present circumstances and modes of discourse. When treating a complex historical phenomenon such as religion, a number of ethical issues arise that have contemporary parallels or connections to current debates. Nonetheless, how we talk about past worldviews and their relationship to our own beliefs and values is as important as the historical and contemporary ethical issues that connect us to them.
Consequently, we will take two approaches to ethical issues in studying medieval Christianity in a global historical context:
Throughout the semester, we will explore issues of religion and history that have contemporary resonances: persecution, martyrdom, and religious freedom; spread of religions and cross-cultural interactions; politics and the “separation” of church and state; just war theory and the Crusades; faith and reason debates; worldviews, spirituality and materialism. We will use the theme of pilgrimage, expressed in the image CD-Rom, to make our journey through time and space and to develop new understandings of self in relation to the past (an ethic). Other primary sources are found in the Readings book and at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook online.
- How to talk about religion in a secular academic setting (creating a “safe environment”) and take a historical approach to the material (accurate handling of the data).
- How to understand other points of view (“historical empathy”), specifically the relationships between medieval, modern, and post-modern mentalities.
- Dale T. Irvin and Scott W. Sunquist. History of the World Christian Movement. Vol. 1: Earliest Christianity to 1453 (Orbis, 2001).
- Coakley, John W. and Andrea Sterk, eds. Readings in World Christian History. Vol. 1: Earliest Christianity to 1453 (Orbis, 2006).
- CD Rom: Dee Dyas, ed., Pilgrims and Pilgrimage: Journey, Spirituality & Daily Life through the Centuries (Christianity and Culture, 2007). available in Sinclair Reserve Book Room
- Internet Medieval Sourcebook
- 30% 3 thought papers
- 30% in-class quizzes
- 30% final research paper
- 10% journal and participation
Paper Writing Guidelines:
- All papers should be typed, double-spaced in 12-point font and submitted electronically using Word (Office 2003).
- All citations should use footnotes in Chicago Manual of Style Humanities or its equivalent in Turabian (see links below).
- Papers are graded on 1) clear thesis and argumentation, indicated in the introduction and in the organization of the paper; 2) adept analysis of sources and other information as evidence or examples; and 3) vigorous, readable prose style free of grammar and syntax errors. Historians prefer active over passive voice. The instructor will not fix grammar and syntax problems, but will stop reading if she finds more than one error per paragraph.
- Late papers without a documented excuse lose 3/100 for every day late.
- For the Research Paper see the (detailed assignment guidelines).
- For writing assistance see:
Journal, Quizzes and Participation:
Since this class meets only once a week, it is vital that students not only attend but come prepared to discuss the material. Students are asked to keep a reading journal of responses to the assignments and to bring it to class. The in-class quizzes are “open notes” (journals but not books) and are designed to make sure students have a basic comprehension of the reading material. Students who miss class lose both participation and quiz points; those with a documented excuse may make up the quiz within one week (see instructor for details).
A Note on Plagiarism and Cheating: Plagiarism, a form of cheating punishable under the UHM Student Conduct Code, is the use of someone else's words or ideas without citation or acknowledgement. This includes exact/unique phrases without quote marks; interpretive arguments (as opposed to general knowledge information) made to sound as your own when they are not; and sentences, paragraphs, or whole papers copied or downloaded into your paper. Any paper submitted to me that violates this standard will receive an automatic F (0 points) with no resubmission. We can discuss the case, but if we fail to agree on whether plagiarism occurred, the case will have to go to the Dean of Students, where the penalty if guilt is found is worse than an F on a paper.
Disability Access:If you feel you need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, please 1) contact the KOKUA Program (V/T) at 956-7511 or 956-7612, QLCSS 013; 2) speak with me privately to discuss your specific needs. I will be happy to work with you and the KOKUA Program to meet you access needs related to your documented disability.
Student Academic Services also provides a wide array of learning assistance, counseling, and support services to meet your needs.
- 01/16 Pilgrimage and Worldviews (preview texts and cd)
Part I: Beginnings to circa 300 C.E.
- 01/23 Various Christianities: Martyrdom History Parts I-II, Readings 1-7
- 01/30 Various Christianities: Theology History Part III, Readings 8-17
- 02/06 Multicultural Pilgrims Pilgrimage Introduction; in the Bible
- Paper 1 (3-5 pages): Analyze one document in its historical context, demonstrating historical empathy for its point of view in contrast to or in relation to current worldviews. Due 02/13
Part II: 300-600 C.E.
- 02/13 Conversion and Empire History chs. 14-17; Readings 18-28
- 02/20 Asceticism and Monasticism Readings 29-33; Pilgrimage in Early Christian Spirituality
- 02/27 Christianity East and West History chs. 18-21; Readings 34-44
- Paper 2 (3-5 pages): Compare two documents giving different views, examining their historical contexts and perspectives in a balanced fashion. Due 03/05
Part III: 600-1000 C.E.
- 03/05 Christianity in Asia History chs. 22-25, Readings 45-47
- 03/12 Christianity in the West History chs. 26-27, Readings 48-54, Pilgrimage in Anglo-Saxon England; IMS:
- 03/19 Christianity in Byzantium History chs. 28-29, Readings 55-58
- Paper 3 (3-5 pages): Analyze an issue that cuts across time periods or regions, using primary sources in their historical context. Due 04/02
Part IV: 1000-1500 C.E.
- 03/26 Kuhio Day and Spring Break Holiday (skim IMS for research sources)
- 04/02 Reform and Renewal History ch. 30, Readings 59, Pilgrimage in Later Medieval England (research topic and sources due)
- 04/09 The Crusades History ch. 31, Readings 60-63
- 04/16 Faith and Reason History chs. 32-34, Readings 64-68 (research bibliography due)
- 04/23 Late Medieval Christianities History chs. 35-38, Readings 69-76
- 04/30 Pilgrimage Today (bring research thesis and outline)
- 05/07 Research Workshop (bring draft)
- Research Paper (12-15 pages): Choose an ethical issue in medieval Christianity and examine the different points of view on it then and now: What accounts for the differences in perception? Due 05/14