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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Early and Medieval Church Writings
Module Code TP140
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Miriam Jane De Cock
Semester 2: Miriam Jane De Cock
Autumn: Miriam Jane De Cock
Module TeachersGabriel Flynn
Miriam Jane De Cock
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module introduces students to writings from the early church up to and including the medieval period, highlighting the rich theological, ecclesiological, and historical diversity in the first millennium of the common era. Students will develop skills in reading ancient primary texts in translation, as well as in engaging with important secondary sources. Key issues to be explored include early biblical interpretation, tensions relating to "orthodoxy" and "heresy," the development of significant spiritual practices, as well as important doctrinal and scholastic teachings.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of key themes, concepts and methods in early Christian writings.
2. Engage with the early sources, beliefs and practices which have defined Christianity making guided use of primary and secondary documentation.
3. Evaluate a range of potential theological viewpoints from this era supported by relevant academic sources.
4. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of key thinkers from this period in early church history.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Directed learning74No Description
Assignment Completion50No Description
Independent Study39.5No Description
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

In the Beginning: Early Writings, Gnosticism, and Irenaeus of Lyon

Justin Martyr and Origen of Alexandria

The Council of Nicaea and Athanasius of Alexandria

A Cappadocian Trio: Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa

Christology and Heresy: Augustine, Apollinarius of Laodicea, Nestorius of Constantinople, and Theodore of Mopsuestia

Cyril of Alexandria and the Chalcedonian Definition

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Augustine: 0, Confessions,
  • Justin Martyr: 0, First Apology,
  • Origen of Alexandria: 0, Homilies on the Psalms,
  • Origen of Alexandria: 0, On Prayer,
  • Ephrem: 0, Hymns on Faith,
  • Anonymous: 0, The Syriac Book of Steps,
  • Bonaventure: 0, The Breviloqium,
  • Ewet Cousins: 0, Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God, The Tree of Life, The Life of St. Francis,
  • David Hunter; Susan Ashbrook Harvey: 0, The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies, OUP,
  • Frances Young; Andrew Teal: 0, From Nicaea to Chalcedon: A Guide to the Literature and its Background, 2nd, Baker Academic,
  • James A. Walters: 0, Eastern Christianity: A Reader, Eerdmans,
  • JND Kelly: 0, Early Christian Doctrines, 5th, Continuum,
  • Henry Chadwick: 0, The Early Church, Revised, Penguin,
  • Dominic V. Monti, OFM and Katherine Wrisley Shelby: 0, Bonaventure Revisited, A Companion to the Breviloquium, Franciscan Institute Publications,
  • Jay Hammond, Wayne Hellmann, and Jared Goff: 0, A Companion to Bonaventure, Brill,
  • Ian P. Wei: 0, Intellectual Culture in Medieval Paris: Theologians and the University, CUP,
  • Anthony Kenney: 0, The Oxford Illustrated History of Western Philosophy, OUP,
  • David Luscombe: 0, Medieval Thought, OUP,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BATRSBA in Theology and Religious Studies

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