Church Fathers: An Introduction

This postgraduate unit engages the main themes and characteristics of Patristic tradition, which it examines within their historical context and from a comparative perspective. It assists in appreciating the significance of various trends in traditional theology and spirituality for the general Christian experience. It covers various understandings of the patristic era, Church fathers and mothers, main trends and themes in patristic theology, the Church fathers as contributors to the formation of both scripture and tradition, the influence of the fathers on the liturgical and spiritual tradition of the Church and Christianity and culture: the Church fathers at the crossroads.

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Learning Outcomes

At the end of this graduate course unit students will be able to:

  1. appreciate the historical and ecclesial contexts of various trends in patristic tradition
  2. display an awareness of the main themes pertaining to the patristic tradition
  3. utilise primary and secondary sources in the analysis of patristic themes
  4. analyse themes pertaining to the patristic tradition within their immediate and distant literary and historical contexts
  5. assess the relevance of patristic tradition to contemporary scholarship and the Christian experience
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