Course Description *

Introduction to Christianity

Summer 1999: University of Pennsylvania

Instructor: Alan Humm

This course is a basic introduction to the three classical divisions of Christianity: Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant The methods used will be: 1) Historical-Examining the major events, figures, issues and movements that have shaped the history of the religion and its development. 2) Phenomenological- Focusing upon the beliefs, rituals and practices in the variety of Christian traditions. A primary goal will be to attempt to understand each tradition from the point of view of those who are a part of that expression of Christianity. What is their world view? How do they understand their religion? What issues do they consider important to their interpretation of Christianity? A special emphasis will be placed upon popular/folk movements in the Christian religion. The course will begin with a historical review of Christianity from the beginnings into the modern period. This will be followed by a look at regionally specific variations on the tradition and a more specific analysis of an important critical issue affecting contemporary churches.

* Thanks to Ken Banner from whom most of this course description was unabashedly stolen.

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Last Modified May 27, 1999
by Alan Humm