Hillsdale College Courses: Ancient Christianity

For the ancient Christians, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were the fulfillment of prophecy and the center of salvation history. But their message came with many difficulties.

How would they explain God’s entrance into the physical world as a man? How would they belong to a heavenly kingdom that is “in” the world but not “of” the world? And, how would they survive in an empire not ready or willing to accept their message?

Jesus had commissioned the Apostles to “go into all the world.” He promised to be with them in their struggles, and without Him, of course, the task would be impossible.

Between the time of Christ and the fall of the Roman Empire, the Christians overcame great persecution as well as numerous theological disputes. And, as the Christians survived an often unhappy reception, they became an instrument of stability.

The Christians would both change and preserve the Greek and Roman world, serving as a foundation of the emerging culture of Europe. Indeed, without the success of Christianity, there would have been no England and no America.

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Course Overview

Christianity emerged into a world shaped by the Roman Empire, the Jewish faith, and Greek philosophy. This course explains how the revolutionary message of the Gospel spread throughout this ancient world and how early Christians practiced their faith, endured persecution, and addressed theological questions and controversies.