A study of the theologies, history, and spiritualities of the patristic period from the apostles’ deaths to the pontificate of Gregory the Great (600 CE). This unit considers the diverse cultures and experiences that marked the earliest centuries of the church. These events have enduring relevance to the contemporary church.

Unit code: CT2511Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Systematic Theology

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


evaluate the principal themes within patristic theology


analyse the early development of church doctrine within its wider historical and cultural context


employ primary and secondary sources in the analysis of patristic themes


assess the enduring impact of patrology upon contemporary theology and spirituality


compose a critical evaluation of the work and thought of a selected patristic author

Unit sequence

18 points of CH or CT


synchronous lectures and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Chadwick, Henry. The Church in Ancient Society. London: OUP, 2002
  • Clément, Olivier. The Roots of Christian Mysticism. New York: New City Press, 2015
  • de Conick, April. Holy Misogyny. New York: Continuum, 2011.
  • Fairbairn, Donald. Life in the Trinity. Chicago, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
  • Keller, David. Oasis of Wisdom. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2005.
  • Limberis, Vasiliki. Architects of Piety. New York: OUP, 2011
  • Louth, Andrew. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition from Plato to Denys. Oxford: OUP, 2007.
  • Moss, Candida. The Myth of Persecution. New York: Harper One, 2013.
  • Papandrea, James. Reading the Early Church Fathers. New York: Paulist, 2012.
  • Quasten, Johannes. Patrology (4 vols). Westminster: Christian Classics, 1986-88.
  • Ramsay, Boniface. Beginning to Read the Fathers. London: DLT, 1985 .


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Portfolio of 4 Tutorial Exercises of 300 words each

1200 30.0
Essay 3000 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Jun, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-06-20 15:12:02 +1000