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Alister McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction. Chapter 1 The Patristic Period, c.100-c.700. The Early Centers of Theological Activity. Alexandria Greek-speaking Modern-day Egypt Association with Platonic tradition Alexandrian school Antioch Greek-speaking Modern-day Turkey

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Alister McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction


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    1. Alister McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction Chapter 1 The Patristic Period, c.100-c.700 Wiley-Blackwell 2010

    2. The Early Centers of Theological Activity • Alexandria • Greek-speaking • Modern-day Egypt • Association with Platonic tradition • Alexandrian school • Antioch • Greek-speaking • Modern-day Turkey • Paul’s missionary journeys • Antiochene school • Cappadocian fathers • Western north Africa (Carthage) • Latin-speaking • Roman colony at time of Christianity • Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine Wiley-Blackwell 2010

    3. An Overview of the Patristic Period • A clarification of terms • The patristic period • Patristics • Patrology • The theological agenda of the period • The relationship between Christianity and Judaism • Apologetics • Constantine & theological debate • Later patristic period (c.310-451) - emerging theological consensus • Difficulties of studying the patristic period • Debates seem irrelevant • Familiarity with philosophy • Age of flux • Division between eastern Greek-speaking and western Latin-speaking church Wiley-Blackwell 2010

    4. Key Theologians • Justin Martyr (c.100-c.165) • Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.200) • Tertullian (c.160-c.225) • Origen (c.185-c.254) • Cyprian of Carthage (d.258) • Athanasius (c.293-373) • The Cappadocian fathers • Basil the Great (c.330-79) • Gregory of Nyssa (c.330-c.395) • Gregory of Nazianzus (329-89) • Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Wiley-Blackwell 2010

    5. Key Theological Debates and Developments • The extent of the New Testament canon • The “fixing of the canon” • Canon, canonical • Development of the term “Scripture” to include writings of the New Testament • Athanasius’ 39th Festal Letter (367 C.E.) • Debates over certain books • Arrangement and order of the books • Criteria for canonicity • The role of tradition: the Gnostic controversies • The challenge of Gnosticism • Tradition and the rule of faith (regula fidei) • Tertullian’s view of tradition and Scripture Wiley-Blackwell 2010

    6. The fixing of the ecumenical creeds • Creeds and confessions • Apostles’ creed • Nicene creed (Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed) • The two natures of Jesus Christ: the Arian controversy • Jesus as “of one substance” with God • Flavored by the Greek philosophical tradition • Alexandrian school (divinity); Antiochene school (humanity) • Arius (c.250-c.336) • Apollinarius of Laodicea (c.310-c.390) • The Council of Nicea (325) • The Council of Chalcedon (451) • The doctrine of the Trinity • Eastern position (Cappadocian fathers) • Western position (Augustine of Hippo) Wiley-Blackwell 2010

    7. The doctrine of the church: the Donatist controversy • The church: for saints or sinners? • Persecution under the Roman Empire (303-313) • Traditores • Donatists v. Augustine • The doctrine of grace: the Pelagian controversy • Pelagius (early 5th century) • Pelagianism & human autonomy • Augustine • the priority of the grace of God • the fallenness of human nature (original sin) • Salvation by merit v. salvation by grace • Predestination • Council of Carthage (418) Wiley-Blackwell 2010