Spring 2019 - HIST 288 D100

History of Christianity to 1500 (3)

Class Number: 3936

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5018, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Hilmar Pabel
    1 778 782-5816
    Office: AQ 6230



A survey of the history of Christianity from its origins to 1500. Breadth-Humanities. Breadth-Humanities.


How did a small Jewish sect develop to become a world religion known as Christianity?  Today, 2.5 billion people, a little more than 30% of Earth’s population, identify themselves as Christians.  The history of Christianity asks many fundamental questions.  Who was Jesus?  Who were the first Christians?  What did they believe?  How did Christianity spread?  What institutions shaped Christian society to the end of the Middle Ages?  We shall explore these and other important historical questions through a variety of primary sources that connect us with ancient and medieval Christians and Christianity. The course does not assume or require any religious knowledge or affiliation.

Hist. 288 will prepare you for Hist. 320 (European Reformation), which you can take in the summer semester of 2019.  Hist. 288 is also a course prerequisite for Hist. 439 (Catholicism in Early Modern Europe), which will be offered in the spring semester of 2019.


The course requirements of History 288 will help you achieve the educational goals of undergraduate courses in the Department of History.  In particular, by the end of the course you will be able

  • to identify the principal historical developments of Christianity before 1500
  • to recognize and assess aspects of these developments in primary sources
  • to analyze primary sources relevant to the history of Christianity in accordance with historical criteria


  • Participation 10%
  • Three Quizzes (18 January, 1 February, 15 February) 3 x 5% 15%
  • Essay #1 (1200-1500 words, due 5 March) 25%
  • Final Test (5 April) 20%
  • Essay #2 (1700-2000 words, due 8 April) 30%
  • ** dates are tentative



Lives of Roman Christian Women, trans. and ed. Caroline White (Penguin, 2010), for purchase at SFU Bookstore.

RB 1980: The Rule of St. Benedict, trans. Timothy Fry (Liturgical Press, 1982), for purchase at SFU Bookstore.

The Book of Margery Kempe, trans. B. A. Windeatt (Penguin, 1994), for purchase at SFU Bookstore.

The Holy Bible (Old and New Testaments, unabridged, any English translation, except for the Good News Bible and paraphrases of the Bible).  Copies of the Bible are available in the Bennett Library and on the internet and for purchase through various outlets.

Primary sources available for free online.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html