The Beginning of Christianity

The Beginning of Christianity

This course is reading and writing intensive. Study three major works: Plato’s Republic, Virgil’s Aeneid, and Augustine’s Confessions, analyze them in their historical context. This textual work, which will be more of a ‘workshop’ than lecture or straight discussion, is designed to prepare to write term paper, in addition to learning the sources themselves, their context, and what they reveal about history. The discussion of the sources should in addition give insight into what ‘doing history’ is, namely, the interpretation of sources, which allow us to say something about the past.

On the paper:

* Who was the author?

* When was the text written?

* For whom was the text written?

* Why type of text is this, what is its genre?

* What was the purpose of the text? What was it intended to do?

* How does the text go about meeting its intended purpose?

* What are the textual strategies the author used to make his point and/or to make his text ‘work’? Is it persuasive, didactic, argumentative, inspirational?

* How does the text reflect its historical context?

* What does the text tell us uniquely about the period in which it was written?

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