Pre-Nicene Christianity: The Formation of the Theological Tradition

Speaker(s): John Behr
Date: Spring 2019
Length: 12h27m
Product ID: RGDL4911S

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This course will look at the development of Christian theology in the period leading up to the Council of Nicaea, focusing in on the most important figures, but treating various themes: such as Christology, Triadology, and Anthropology; Sin, Passion, and Death; Scripture and its Exegesis. The questions that will be addressed concern such fundamental issues as:

  • what did each figure see as the nature and method of theology itself
  • what is theology and how does it work?
  • what is the canon or criterion, if any, that regulates it (raising questions of uniformity and diversity)?
  • What texts are to count as sacred scripture and how are they to be interpreted?
  • What are the central teachings of Christianity regarding 1) the person of Christ and his relation to God and the Spirit, and 2) what is sometimes called 'salvation history' (creation-fall-redemption) and 3) how do the Fathers understand and articulate such teachings?
The course will also examine the question of how a Christian should follow Christ by looking closely at the witness of the martyrs.

See All Audio by John Behr

Fr John Behris the Fr George's Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics at St Vladimir's Seminary, where he served as Dean from 2007-17, and the Metropolitan Kallistos Chair of Orthodox Theology at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. He has published numerous monographs with Oxford University Press and SVS Press, most recently an edition and translation of the fragments of Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopuestia (OUP 2011), a monograph on Irenaeus (OUP 2013), and a more poetic and meditative work entitled Becoming Human: Theological Anthropology in Word and Image (SVS Press, 2013). He has completed a new critical edition and translation of Origen's On First Principles , together with an extensive introduction, for OUP (2017), and a study of the Gospel of John (forthcoming OUP 2019), and is now working on a new edition and translation of the works of Irenaeus of Lyons.

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