Course Details

  • Online | Asynchronous 
  • 2 weeks | December 27, 2023 – January 10, 2024
  • 3 credits | $1,716
  • Last day to register: December 20, 2023
  • Prerequisites and Notes: Formerly offered as REL 351 (F.2019). Students may not take both RST 351 & REL 351.
  • Cornerstone requirement satisfied by the course: Catholic Intellectual Traditions & Moral Inquiry

Course Overview

This course will examine the growth of the early Christian movement during Late Antiquity. Discussions will focus on several important themes including persecution and martyrdom, monasticism and asceticism, the development and refutation of heresies (Gnosticism, Arianism, Nestorianism), and the creation of orthodoxy in belief, creed, and ritual.

This course fulfills the Catholic Intellectual Traditions or Moral Inquiry general education requirement.

Course Advantages

This course immerses you in religious writing and art from 500-1500 CE, a period of great theological diversity and artistic creativity. How did religious writers and artists — from monks to so-called ‘heretics’, from apocalyptic preachers to philosophically-minded scholars, from literary lay women to zealous reformers — reflect on God, themselves and the world? As you analyze and evaluate their writings and artwork, you will focus on the merits and limits of their thinking, comparing their distant medieval concerns to your own present situation. By translating yourself into the thought-world of medieval heretics, martyrs and saints, you will test out their ideas and consider how they continue to shape the modern world.

Additional Information

Faculty will contact all students after the Wednesday, December 20, registration deadline.

About the Instructor

Kevin McGinnis

Adjunct Instructor of religious studies
Kevin McGinnis has taught in the departments of Religious Studies and Languages, Literatures & Cultures here at Stonehill. He has also taught at Springfield College, the University of the Pacific, and the Claremont School of Theology. He also has a background in student affairs and currently works in Housing and Residential Education at UMass Dartmouth. His published work has mostly focused on the social history of the early church, especially in the ways in which Greek philosophical practices and values found their way into the church in the first four centuries of the common era. Currently, he is working on a book on the Christian appropriation of the title "priest" in the third and fourth centuries as it evolved into the primary religion of the Roman Empire. In addition to courses on the New Testament and early Christian history, Dr. McGinnis has also taught courses on method and theory in the study of religion, classical mythology, Greek philosophy, and Latin.

Questions? Contact Us

Duffy Academic Center – 112

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