The origins of Christianity (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Augusto Barbi
Augusto Barbi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IA dal Sep 25, 2017 al Nov 11, 2017.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims at illustrating the development of the 1st century Christian movement by highlithing its fundamental unity and the diversity of its historical expressions.


After a presentation of the sources, and after an assessment of the methodological problems, attention will be devoted to the first developments of Jesus’ movement, starting from the Easter: from the presence of a nomadic radicalism to the local communities with their sapiential tradition, to the Judeo-Christian community of Jerusalem, to the foundation of a “Hellenistic” community in Antiochia, to the fundamental turn of the Jerusalem assembly that opens the doors to Christian universalism.
Great attention will be given to Paul’s mission, to ist implementation and the specific features of “paulian” communities that will become fundamental for the further development of Christianism.
With the end of the apostolic period and the destruction of Jerusalem (70 a.D.) a new situation appears and the writing of the Gospels starts. A profile of the Churches to which these writings are directed will be given and particular attention will be devoted to the development of the “John’s tradition”. Finally, the “Paulian school” will be taken into account, the production of its writings and the fundamental lines of its interests: biographic (Acts of the Apostoles), doctrinarian (Colossians, Efesians) and pastoral (Pastoral Epistles).

PENNA, R., Le prime comunità cristiane. Persone, tempi, luoghi, forme, credenze, Roma 2011 (ed. Carocci).
PENNA, R. (a cura di), Le origini del cristianesimo. Una guida (nuova edizione), Roma 2014 (ed. Carocci) pp. 165-334.
VOUGA, F., Il cristianesimo delle origini. Scritti, protagonisti, dibattiti, Torino 2001 (ed. Claudiana).
SCHNEEMELCHER, W., Il cristianesimo delle origini, Bologna 1987 (ed. Mulino).

N.B. - Oltre agli appunti forniti a lezione, lo studente può scegliere uno dei testi indicati.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam.