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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2016 - 2017

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to provide an introduction to the history of Christianity. It attempts to introduce the study of the Christian Church from biblical times to the present. The module considers how the Church survived after the death of the first apostolic leaders; the achievements and failures of the Church in the patristic, medieval and modern periods; the biblical images of the Church; the eleventh-century schism; the sixteenth-century reformation, the renaissance in Catholic thought in the twentieth century, and the history of Vatican II. In this module, students develop knowledge and skills in reading original texts studying the methods of historical and theological investigation reading introductory and advanced historical and theological textbooks collaborative learning critical analysis of historical and theological data Students will participate in the following learning activities Working in small groups and presenting findings at lectures Visit to the National Gallery, Dublin (History of Christianity in Art) Visit to the Chester Beatty Library (The Western Treasures of the Library: Biblical, Renaissance and modern times)

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a specialist knowledge in the history of Christianity
2. Assess the achievements and failures of the Church in the patristic, medieval and modern periods as part of an ecumenical and inter-religious response to the current human situation
3. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the usefulness of the biblical images of the Church for renewal and reform of ecclesial structures in the context of current issues
4. Explain the origins, causes, and consequences of the Oriental Schism (c.1054) through specialist knowledge of the religious history of the period
5. Demonstrate a knowledge of the European Reformation, the state of the Western Church in 1500, and of the inner contradictions in Western Christianity
6. Assess the contribution of French-speaking thinkers to the renewal of Catholic theology and in the twentieth century and to the Second Vatican Council (1962-65)
7. Demonstrate an ability to organize and communicate through a written assignment the sources of the history of the Christian Churches and show the relevance of this history for understanding the place of the Church in a pluralist society
8. Critically reflect upon important ecclesiological issues including the following: child protection policies, ministry, evangelization, return to the sources, ecumenism;
9. To collect, synthesise and present knowledge on complex problems in a critical, objective manner
10. An ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to specialist and non-specialist audiences

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

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

How the Church survived after the death of the great apostolic leaders
by looking at the Christian communities in the post apostolic-period

History of the Christian Church
in the Biblical, patristic, medieval and modern periods

Biblical images of the Church
through study of the biblical texts and appropriate commentaries

The Oriental Schism
by examining the theological, political and ecclesiological factors that contributed to the Great Schism

Introduction to the Crusades
by elucidating key ideas and institutions, and through an analysis of the nature and causes of crusading

The European Reformation
by studying the state of the Western Church in 1500, the internal contradictions in Western Christianity, and by study of developments in Reformation scholarship

The Twentieth Century: the Century of the Church
study of the renewal of Catholic theology and philosophy in the first half of the twentieth century; the history of the Second Vatican Council and its aftermath; ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Brown, Raymond E: 1984, The Churches the Apostles Left Behind [ISBN: 0-8091-2611-7], Paulist Press, New York,
  • Cameron, Euan: 2012, The European Reformation [ISBN: 978-0-19-954785-2], 2nd, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Comby, Jean 1985: 1985, How to Read Church History: From the Beginnings to the Fifteenth Century vol. i, SCM Press London [ISBN: 0-334-02050-6], SCM Press, London,
  • Comby, Jean with Diarmaid MacCulloch: 2004, 4 How to Read Church History: From the Reformation to the Present Day, vol. ii, [ISBN: 0-8245-0908-0], Crossroad, New York,
  • Chadwick, Owen: 1995, A History of Christianity [ISBN: 0312187238], St. Martin's Press, New York,
  • Congar, Yves: 1959, After Nine Hundred Years: The Background of the Schism Between the Eastern and Western Churches [ISBN: 59-15643], Fordham University Press, New York,
  • Cross, F.L. (ed.): 1997, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church [ISBN: 0-19-211655-X], 3rd, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • De Lubac, Henri, translated by Anne Elizabeth Englund: 1993, At the Service of the Church [ISBN: 0-89870-414-6], Communion Books, San Francisco,
  • Duffy, Eamon: 2010, Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor [978-0-300-16889-1], Yale University Press,
  • 2005: The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England c.1400-c.1580 [0-300-10829], 2nd, Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 123351
  • 1998: The Flowering of the Middle Ages [ISBN: 0-500-28043-6], first paperback edn., Thames and Hudson, London, 123352
  • 2004: Yves Congar's Vision of the Church in a World of Unbelief [ISBN: 0-7546-0652-X], Ashgate Aldershot, UK and Burlington, VT, USA, 123353
  • 2005: Theologian of the Church [ISBN: 978-90-429-16685], Peeters Publishers, Louvain, 123354
  • 2012: Ressourcement: A Movement for Renewal in Twentieth-Century Theology [ISBN: 978-0-19-955287-0], Oxford University Press, Oxford, 123355
  • 2005: Essential Theological Terms [ISBN: 0-664-22810-0], John Knox Press Louisville, Kentucky, USA, 123356
  • 2008: Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire [ISBN: 978-0-141-03102-6], Penguin, London, 123357
  • 1987: The New Dictionary of Theology [ISBN: 0-7171-1552-6], Gill and Macmillan, Dublin, 123358
  • 1994: Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions [ISBN: 0-8308-1774-3], IVP Academic Downers Grove, USA, 123359
  • 2007: Images of the Church in the New Testament, [ISBN: 978-0-227-17243-8], New Edition Ed, Clarke Cambridge, UK, 123360
  • 2010: A History of Christianity [ISBN 978-0141-02189-8], Penguin,, London, 123361
  • 2007: Christian Theology: An Introduction [ISBN: 978-1-4051-5360-7], Fourth Edition Ed, Blackwell, Oxford, UK, 123362
  • 1996: Ecclesia: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Church, The Liturgical Press Collegeville, MN USA, 123363
  • 2000: What Happened at Vatican II [ISBN: 978-0-674-03169-2], Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and London, England, 123364
  • 1992: Religious Thought in the Reformation [ISBN 0-582-49031-6], 6th, Longman, London, 123365
  • 2004: A Short History of the Middle Ages [ISBN: 1-55111-616-2], Broadview Press, Ontario, Canada, 123366
  • 1972: The Church: It's Origin and Structure [ISBN: 0-8362-0496-4], Sheed and Ward, New York, 123367
  • 2014: The Reformation to the Modern Church: A Reader in Christian Theology [ISBN 978 1451 465518], Fortress Press, Minneapolis MN, 123368
  • 2005: The Crusades: A Very Short History [ISBN: ISBN13: 9780192806550], Oxford University Press, Oxford, 123369
  • 2006: God's War: A New History of the Crusades [ISBN: 978-0-713-99220-5], Penguin London, 123370
  • 1997: The Orthodox Church [ISBN: 978-0-140-14656-1], New Edition Ed, Penguin, London,
Other Resources

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