Early Christianity

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Early Christianity prepares students for academic careers in teaching and research or for other professional work for which strong competence in this field would be important.

Convener: J. Warren Smith

Major Field Requirements

  • Course Work
    • 3 advanced courses per semester
    • Students entering directly from an undergraduate program will normally complete 6 semesters of course work, consisting primarily of doctoral seminars
  • Languages
    • Demonstration by exam and course work of reading fluency in Greek and Latin. For those intending to work in the fields of Eastern Christianity, a third language will be required and chosen from: Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Arabic, or Ethiopic
    • Demonstration by exam of reading competency in German and French (or a substitute modern European language)
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Training
  • Preliminary Examinations
    • Written general examination (Christianity from the 2nd to 7th Centuries), with the focus of the examination on the areas of the student's interest
    • Written examination on internal minor
    • Written examination on external minor
    • Written examination on dissertation area
    • Oral examination
  • Dissertation

Inside Minor Requirements

  • 2 courses

Early Christianity

Aaron Ebert: "The Second Sin: A Study of the Vice of Envy in the Thought of St. Augustine." 2023. Advisor: Dr. J. Warren Smith

Elizabeth Schrader Polczer: “’Those Who Love Me Will Keep My Word’: Narrative Variants in New Testament Gospel Stories.” 2023. Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Knust

Taylor Ross: "Minding the Gap: Gregory of Nyssa, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and the Hermaneutics of Historical Theology." 2022. Advisor: Dr. J. Warren Smith

Nathan Tilley: “Human Perfection in the Thought of Bābai the Great: Tradition and Development in East Syrian Theology." 2022. Advisor: Dr. J. Warren Smith

Brad Boswell: "Cyril Against Julian: Traditions in Conflict." 2020. Advisor: Dr. J. Warren Smith

Erin Galgay Walsh: "Sanctifying Boldness: New Testament Women in Narsai, Jacob of Serugh and Romanos Melodos." 2019. Advisor and Co-chair: Lucas Van Rompay (Co-chair J. Ross Wagner)

Daniel Becerra: "Asceticism and the Other: Angels and Animals in the Egyptian Ascetic Tradition." 2019. Advisor: J. Warren Smith

Jen Benedict: "Truth to Power: The Politics of Theological Free Speech in the Cappadocian Fathers and Augustine of Hippo." 2018. Advisor: J. Warren Smith

Julie Lillis: "Virgin Territory: Configuring Female Virginity in Early Christianity." 2017. Advisor and Co-chair: Elizabeth Clark (Co-chair J. Warren Smith)

Tom McGlothlin: "Raised to Newness of Life: Resurrection and Moral Transformation in Second- and Third-Century Christian Theology." 2015. Advisor: J. Warren Smith

Maria Doerfler: "Law and Order: Monastic Formation, Episcopal Authority, and Conceptions of Justice in Late Antiquity." 2013. Advisor: Elizabeth Clark