Introduction to Christianity I. History of Christianity

Anna Van den Kerchove (sections 1-4; 6; 9) - Renaud Rochette (sections 4-5; 7-8)
École pratique des hautes études – Institut européen en sciences des religions (France)

This module provides an introductory history of Christianity. Within this framework, the module presents a selection of periods and themes which we think are essential to understand Christianity’s role and place in world history. Sections 1-3 explain how a movement comprised of Jewish disciples of Jesus transformed itself into an independent religion, distinct from Judaism, a religion, which spread through the Roman Empire and beyond. Sections 4-6 present the three major denominations of Christianity. Up to this point in the module, the aim is to highlight Christianity in its diversity, whereas details relating to rites, beliefs, or scriptures, are covered separately in Module 2. Sections 7-8 deal with Christianity in contemporary times, the challenges it has been confronted with, and how it manages to respond to them. Section 9 broadly maps Christians worldwide at the turn of the 21st century.