Introduction to Church History:
The Early Church, Middle Ages, Renaissance

Foundational Unit

Assoc. Prof. Adam Cooper
Semester 1, 2020
Tuesday 2.00pm – 5.00pm

A survey unit at post-graduate level which covers the areas of the Early Church, Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The course includes a study of the major movements which shaped church and society and how they have influenced current church practices. The course focuses particularly on the developments in the first five centuries while also considering the shaping of the church from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In this context it will also consider the significant developments in theology during this period.

Census Date

Tuesday 17 March




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • one 5,000-word essay 60%
  • one 2-hour written examination (2,000 words) 40%

Set Texts Recommended for Purchase

  • Blainey, Geoffrey. A Short History of Christianity. Melbourne: Viking, 2011.
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity. Vol. 1, The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. 2nd ed. New York: Harper Collins, 2010.


  • Bokenkotter, Thomas. A Concise History of the Catholic Church. Rev. ed. New York: Doubleday, 2004.
  • Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church. Rev. ed. Penguin History of the Church. London: Penguin, 1993.
  • Chadwick, Owen. A History of Christianity. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1995.
  • Coakley, John W., and Andrea Sterk, eds. Readings in World Christian History. Volume 1, Earliest Christianity to 1453. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004. 
  • Comby, Jean. How to Read Church History. Vol. 1, From the Beginning to the Fifteenth Century. London: SCM, 1985.
  • Gerhart, Mary, and Fabian E. Udoh, eds. The Christianity Reader. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • Harries, Richard, and Henry Mayr-Harting, eds. Christianity: Two Thousand Years. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Southern Richard. Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages. Penguin History of the Church. London: Penguin, 1990.