Laboratory of the origins of Christianity (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Augusto Barbi
Augusto Barbi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A, Sem. 1B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Workshop on Early Christianity
The laboratory aims to provide in-depth critical knowledge in the field of the history of ancient Christianity, particularly of the period of its origins (I-II century). At the end of the workshop, students will acquire a deeper knowledge of an era that left durable marks on the wider history of Western civilization and philosophy, and will be capable to autonomously form judgements on specific cultural issues.


The course aims to illustrate the development of Christian movement starting from its "founde", Jesus of Nazareth, up to the Christian communities attested by the New Testament writings (beginning of the 2nd century).
With regard to historical research on Jesus of Nazareth, the course will provide a general description of its development; the sources on wich it is based; the criteria that govern it and the results it has produced.
After the presentation of the sources and an assessment of the methodological problems, the course will focus the first development of Jesus's movement, starting from Easter: from the presence of a nomadic radicalism to the local communities in Galilee 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's assembly that opens the doors to Christian universalism.
Great attention will be given to Paul's mission, to its implementation and the specific features of "paulian" communities that will become fundamental for the further development of Christianity.
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 ti which these writings are directed will given and particular attention will be devoted to the development of the "John's tradition. Finally, the "Paulian achool" will be taken into account, the production of its writings and the fundamental lines of its interests: biographic (Acts of the Apostles), doctrinarian (Colossians, Efesians) and pastoral (Pastoral Epistles).

Penna, R., Le pime comunità cristiane. Persone, tempi, luoghi, forme, credenze, Roma 2011 (ed. Carocci).
Vouga, F., Il cristianesimo delle origini. Scritti, protagonisti, dibattiti, Torino 2001 (ed. Claudiana).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Penna, Romano Le prime comunità cristiane. Persone, tempi, luoghi, forme, credenze Carocci 2011

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination will be based on speeches by students during the lessons and a final dialogue.