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Mobile Ed: CH201 Historical Theology: The Patristic Period (11 hour course)

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In Historical Theology: The Patristic Period (CH201) Dr. George Kalantzis provides an in-depth study of the theological developments of the early church during the patristic era. Beginning with the world of early Christianity, you will grasp the major historical events, the philosophical ideas, and the pagan religions that shaped the world into which the New Testament church was born. The course covers topics such as persecution and martyrdom, apologetics, Gnosticism, ecclesiology, Christology, and the Trinity in the context of the Roman Empire. Lastly, you will learn what religious, historical, and political influences gave rise to the ecumenical councils that produced the foundational summaries of the Christian faith.

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Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Summarize the key historical events of the Mediterranean world from the sixth century BC to the fifth century AD
  • Describe the political, social, and religious context of the Graeco-Roman world
  • Identify and explain key philosophical movements that influenced the early church
  • Comment on the effects Hellenization had on Judaism, as well as Christianity’s relationship with and break from Judaism
  • Discuss the ebb and flow of Christian persecution through the history of the Roman Empire
  • Articulate why and how early Christian apologetics developed, and identify the key apologists
  • Define Gnosticism, and explain the influence it had on the early church
  • Detail the main heresies that were condemned by the early church
  • Explain what each ecumenical council of the early church contributed to the development of Christological and Trinitarian language
  • Speak accurately about the triune God

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: The World of Early Christianity

  • Why Study History & Key Developments of the First Six Centuries
  • The Unification of the Mediterranean World
  • The Maccabean Interlude
  • History of the Roman Empire
  • Geography of the Roman Empire
  • Social Organization in the Roman Empire: Part One
  • Social Organization in the Roman Empire: Part Two
  • Slavery in the Ancient World
  • Virtue and Humility
  • Platonic Thought
  • Mystical Theology and Aristotelian Thought
  • Roman Religion
  • Religion and the Imperial Cult
  • Graeco-Roman Attitudes toward Jews
  • Graeco-Roman Attitudes toward Christians

Unit 2: Persecution and Martyrdom

  • Causes of Christian Persecution
  • The First Persecutions under Nero and the First Jewish Revolt
  • The Second Persecutions under Domitian
  • The Church under the Antonines: Part One
  • The Church under the Antonines: Part Two
  • Ignatius of Antioch
  • The Martyrdom of Polycarp
  • The Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne
  • The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas

Unit 3: Apologetics

  • Christian Apologetics
  • Justin Martyr
  • Christianization of Hellenism and Christian Defenses against Civil Charges and Mystery Religions
  • Christian Response to Non-Christian Myths and Philosophy
  • Marcus Aurelius and Celsus on Christianity
  • Two Kinds of Reason

Unit 4: Gnosticism

  • Origins of Gnosticism
  • Gnostic Basis on the Bible
  • Fundamental Tenets of Gnosticism
  • Gnostic Movements and Motifs of “Christian Gnosticism”
  • Marcion and Christian Gnosticism
  • Irenaeus and Gnosticism
  • The Self-Defining of the Early Church
  • The Rule of Faith

Unit 5: Monarchianism

  • Introduction to Monarchianism
  • Tertullian and Against Praxeas
  • The Self-Revelation of the Triune God

Unit 6: Ecclesiology and Church Order

  • The State of the Roman Empire
  • Emperor Decius’ Edict
  • Those Who Denied the Faith
  • Ecclesiology and the Doctrine of Penance
  • Sacramental Theology

Unit 7: Conversion of the Empire

  • An Imperial Chronology
  • The Great Persecution
  • Constantine’s Consolidation of the West
  • The End of the Great Persecution
  • Constantine and the Christological Controversies
  • Origen on the Trinity
  • The Arian Controversy
  • The Council of Nicaea
  • From Constantine to Theodosius

Unit 8: Christology and Trinity

  • Christological Formulas, Confessions, and Creeds
  • The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed
  • Christological Language: Part One
  • Christological Language: Part Two
  • Arianism after Nicaea
  • The Cappadocian Fathers: Basil the Great
  • The Cappadocian Fathers: Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa
  • Trinitarian Language
  • Nestorius and Cyril: Part One
  • Nestorius and Cyril: Part Two
  • Eutyches and the Council of Chalcedon


  • Conclusion to the Course

Product Details

  • Title: CH201 Historical Theology: The Patristic Period
  • Instructor: George Kalantzis
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 11
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About Dr. George Kalantzis

Dr. George Kalantzis was born and raised by the shadow of the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. He is Professor of Theology and Director of The Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies at Wheaton College. His research and writing interests focus on the dynamic relationship between the written documents and their interpretation in early Christianity.

He is the author of Caesar and the Lamb: Early Christian Attitudes on War and Military Service, Theodore of Mopsuestia: Commentary on the Gospel of John, and numerous articles and essays on patristic thought. Dr. Kalantzis is also coeditor of Evangelicals and the Early Church: Recovery, Reform, Renewal; Life in the Spirit: Spiritual Formation in Theological Perspective; and The Sovereignty of God Debate. He is currently completing a project on wealth and poverty titled Crumbs from the Table: The Eucharist in the Life of the Church.

Dr. Kalantzis holds a BS in Neurophysiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago; an MS in Neurobiology and Neurosciences from Northeastern Illinois University; an MABS (Master of Biblical Studies degree) from Moody Graduate School; a MTS (master’s degree in Theological Studies) in Patristics from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; and a PhD in Patristics and Classics from Northwestern University.


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This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



3 ratings

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  1. allan paul

    allan paul


    This is an outstanding teaching series! Dr Kalantzis knows his stuff and presents it in an approachable, concise, and easy to follow and absorb manner. Thought I knew something of the Patristic period and Greco-Roman culture but am continually amazed to learn something new or different in every segment presented. He is especially adept at explaining simply and clearly complex topics and concepts (eg. Platonism). Enough info to make it clear but not so much as to overwhelm. Clear and concise views and overviews of culture, politics and the flow of history of that age. I would highly recommend this teaching series.
  2. Lew Worthington
  3. Cory Shiraishi
    I enjoyed the portions on trinitarianism and christology, as well as the early setup of Greco Roman culture.


Collection value: $604.99
Save $195.00 (32%)
Starting at $35.27/mo at checkout