RS 120E/F: Christianity Past and Present

Syllabus- Fall 2002
E:  T/TH 1:00-2:15 pm
F: T/TH 2:30-3:45 pm
JE 373


Raymond A. Patterson


JE 148


ex. 2427


Web Page:

Office Hours:


4-5 pm
10-11 am
10-11 am
and by appointment


Course Description

RS 120: Introduction to Christianity is a survey of Christianity divided into five major segments:


An examination of Christian Scriptures and their testimony to the significance of Jesus Christ


          A study of basic Christian doctrines


An overview of the history of the Christian tradition, including significant theological and spiritual movements


An examination of the major Christian denominations, including differences in worship and polity


          A survey of various issues facing Christianity in the modern world


Required Texts:

Students should have access to a Bible. Iíll be using the New American Bible, but other translations are acceptable. The text for the class, available at the bookstore, is:

Cory, Catherine, and Landry, David, ed. The Christian Theological Tradition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003.

Other readings will be made available on Reserve. Students should use the library catalog to look up the folder numbers of the reserve readings, which are organized by the title of the article under my name. Please do not mark the Reserve readings when taking notes.


Class Requirements:

Regular attendance is expected of all students. If a student is unable to attend class, he or she should notify the instructor. More than one absence without the instructorís permission will negatively impact the final grade. Frequent absences will result in a failing grade.

Students should be on time for class. Arriving late or leaving during the class period is disruptive for the class and the instructor. Excessive tardiness will be reflected in a lower grade for class attendance.

Students will be evaluated on the following course work:

Exam #1


Exam #2


Exam #3


3 Written Assignments
(2-3 pages each)


Class Participation/Attendance



Academic Integrity

Students are expected to adhere to the Academic Integrity Policy established by St. Michaelís College and distributed to all students.


Class Schedule

(The instructor reserves the right to change the schedule. Students will be notified in class of any changes.)


September 3

Class Requirements



Christian Scriptures

September 5

Hebrew Bible-I

Christian Tradition, 2-3, 13-42

Genesis 1-3, 11: 1-9, 17, 27
Exodus 3, 20

September 10

Hebrew Bible-II

Christian Tradition, 44-68

Psalm 22, 69,110
Isaiah 7:14, 9:1-6, 11:1-9, 53

September 12

New Testament- I

Mark 1-10

Christian Tradition, 71-81.

September 17

New Testament- II

Mark 11-16

September 19

New Testament- III

Christian Tradition, 81-86.

Matthew 1-2, 5-7
Luke 1-3; 4:13, 24

September 24

New Testament- IV

Christian Tradition, 86-102.

John 1:1-14; 6:24-59
Acts 1, 2
1 Corinthians 11:17-33; 13, 15


Basic Christian Doctrines

September 26

Canon of Scripture
Creed-I: Trinity

Christian Tradition, 109-124.

October 1

Creed II: Incarnation; Soteriology

Christian Tradition, 124-129.

Written Assignment #1 Due

History of Christianity

October 3

Early Church

Christian Tradition, 132-152.

October 8

Exam #1


October 10

Early Medieval Church

Christian Tradition, 154-162, 183-194.

October 15

[Columbus Day Holiday]

October 17

High Medieval Church

Christian Tradition, 197-228.

October 22


Christian Tradition, 231-242, (250-257), 260-273.

October 24

Reformation II

Christian Tradition, 276-303.

October 29


Christian Tradition, 325-334.

October 31

American Christianity

Christian Tradition, 345-363.

November 5

Christianity and Culture

Christian Tradition, 334-342.

Written Assignment #2 Due

Christian Worship and Polity


November 7

Christian Polity


November 12

Exam #2


November 14

Styles of Christian Worship


November 19

Forms of Christian Prayer and Devotion


November 21

Religious Orders


November 26

AAR Convention

(No class today!)


Issues in Modern Christianity


December 3

Roman Catholic Church and the Modern World: Vatican II

Christian Tradition, 365-378.

December 5

Christianity and other Cultures:
Evangelization and Inculturation

Christian Tradition, 309-322.

Written Assignment #3 Due

December 10

Christianity and the Political World: Liberation Theology

Christian Tradition, 378-385.

December 12

Christianity and Womenís Issues


December 16

December 20

Section F: Final Exam   1:00-3:30 pm

Section E: Final Exam   9:00- 11:30 am