Topics: This is a history of Christianity as a world religion. This course begins in ancient Israel in the time of Jesus and ends in Algonquin-Mohawk territory in North America in the 1700s. In this course we will examine the rise of Christianity as a new religion, watch it flourish in all of its diversity, transform under the power of Islam, struggle against heresy, and produce Inquisition and schism, all while providing stability and a truth for the faithful. Our question is simple: what has it meant to be a Christian? In answering this question we will travel to the deserts of ancient Egypt to visit a devout hermit, to Xian Christian communities of the eighth century in China, and to the sixteenth-century court of King João I of Kongo. The religion that emerges from this investigation is not the monolithic entity most commonly associated with modern Christianity, but rather a fluid religion that was able to provide meaning for many different lives, from a young woman in ancient Carthage about to meet death, to a teenager in an eighteenth-century French Jesuit mission community in Kahnawake, Canada. In the course you will learn what it has meant to be a practitioner of this world religion, and how the modern world was shaped by these global communities.
The course structure will rotate topics (intelligence, war, world orders, etc.) each time it is taught.
Course Attributes: BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H
First-Year Seminar: Topics in National Security History - 01