Study Books Used in Class:
Gillian Clark. Christianity and Roman Society (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Justo González. The Story of Christianity. Volume 1: The Early Church to the Reformation. 2nd
ed. (HarperCollins, 2010).
Description: Given the readings and classes on Organizing Early Christianity (September 18), “Red”
Martyrdom(October 2), and “White” Martyrdom (October 16), think about how Christian
practice changes depending on the context. Look carefully at the primary readings and the
relevant passages in Clark and González, thinking especially about what Christians “do” and
why they do it.
Now, given what you’ve thought about, argue for both WHY and HOW Christian
practice changes depending on the context (this basic argument should be your thesis). Use the
texts you’ve read and thought about to support your claim. (You could also argue the negative,
that Christian practice never changes depending on context. To do this, you must find key
elements in Christian practice that survive across contexts. Again, use the texts to support your
claim.) Clark and González should be used mainly for background or to fill in some of the gaps.
Most, if not all, of your support should be from the primary texts (i.e., the readings that were not
Clark or González).
So you have two choices here: arguing how/why Christianity changes depending on
context, or arguing how/why Christianity does not change across contexts. Your thesis should be
a clear statement of one of these, and the paper should support this.
The final version of this paper is due in-class on November 6; however, a mandatory draft of
the full paper is due in-class on October 23 (by full draft I mean the completed paper, not just
some notes on a page). The paper is to:
1) Be no shorter than 4 full pages (8 ½ x 11 in., standard US letter paper);
2) Be double-spaced and written in 12pt Times New Roman font (this font is 12 pt Times
3) Have 1 in. margins for the pages (beware, not all word processors have this as the
standard margins; this prompt has 1 in. margins);
4) Use citations in a standard style traditionally found in a field of the humanities
(Chicago, Turabian, MLA, SBL, etc.) and should place these citations in endnotesi
that endnotes do not count toward your four-page required length);
5) Have page numbers in the top right corner of the page;
6) Have a single-spaced, left aligned heading of no more than 3 lines with your name, the
date, and the words “Paper 1” or “Paper 1 Draft” looking like this:
Paper 1/Paper 1 Draft
7) Have no title and only a single blank line separating the single-spaced, three-line
header from the double-spaced body of the paper (like the space between the sample
header above and this item #7);
8) Have flawless grammar, punctuation, prose, and spelling (I would highly recommend
that you visit the Writing Center if you need to polish your prose between the draft and
the final paper)Failing to follow these technical requirements may result in failing the paper (as per the
syllabus). Plagiarism in any form will result in failing the paper assignment, and a report will be
filed with the university to be placed in your academic record.ii
Make sure that your paper has a clear thesis and clear organization. The bane of a
potentially good paper often is poor organization or a confusing thesis. Also make sure that your
evidence (i.e., most of your paper) supports your thesis.
1) Treat the above Technical Requirements as a checklist. When you’re reading over your
paper, check (and check off) each one of these items.
2) Have a clear idea of how you want your paper to be organized before you start writing.
An outline is a good way to start preparing your thoughts on the paper.
3) Do not plagiarize. I take this very seriously and will fail you without mercy if you
plagiarize in your papers. Plagiarism is taking any words or ideas not your own and
putting them in your paper with attribution (i.e., without citing them). So CITE.
4) Part of the grade for this first paper is turning in a full draft on time. Turning in an
incomplete draft will result in a reduction of the grade on the final draft of the paper.
Writer: if you can find references from clark and gonzalez tha use them. if not focus on the materials i sent you as well as anything you can find on google.