Course Content (Syllabus)
This course aims to present the general framework for patristic studies, with a detailed account of the formation of the field of Patristics in Greece and the West. It offers information to students about the instrumenta studiorum of patristic studies, both in their print and digital form. It clarifies the use of the epithet ‘father’ and ‘ecumenical teacher’ of the Church during the early Christian period and elaborates on the historical and theological framework of the various periods of the Fathers. It furthermore examines fundamental questions regarding patristic literature: the occurrences of anonymity and pseudepigraphy, the morphological and group distinction of the patristic texts. It also presents systematically the historical framework, literature and theology of the Fathers and the rest of the Christian writers of the first four centuries. It portrays the basic patristic terminology and examines the historical and literary context for the development of Christian literature from the post-apostolic times (Apostolic Fathers) until the end of the 4th century (John Chrysostom and other Antiochian theologians). It places considerable importance on the development of patristic theology from the apostolic fathers up to the Cappadocians, whose work forms systematically the Orthodox theology and anthropology.
1. Introduction to the field of Patristics and its importance for Orthodox Theology. The history of patristic studies in Greece. The emergence and development of patristic studies in the West.
2. Ιnstrumenta Studiorum in patristic studies: Α) Printed patristic editions (and translations), Clavis, Series, scientific journals and bibliographical databases, Β) Patristics on the Internet (digital databases, patristic webpages and other electronic material). (Academic tutoring at the Study Hall of the Faculty of Theology).
3. Fathers of the Church – Ecumenical Teachers – Ecclesiastical Writers. The cultural and spiritual context of the ‘era’ of the Fathers: Education, language, philosophy.
4. Periods of patristic literature. Theological character and literary division of patristic texts. Anonymity and pseudepigraphy in Christian literature.
5. The historical and cultural context for the development of early Christianity. Early genres of ecclesiastical literature (ecclesiastical poetry, ancient ecclesiastical orders, Symbols of faith and liturgical texts).
6. The Apostolic Fathers.
7. The early christian Apologists. Hellenism, heresy and orthodoxy in the 2nd and 3rd centuries: Christian Apocrypha, Gnosticism and antiheretical theologians (Ireneus of Lyon and Hippolytus of Rome).
8. The Theologians of Asia Minor and the Schools of Antioch and Alexandria.
9. The great Alexandrian theologians: Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Didymus the Blind.
10. Heresy and Orthodoxy during the 4th century: Arianism and the defenders of the creed of Nicea.
11. The Cappadocian Fathers (Α): Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa.
12. The Cappadocian Fathers (Β): Gregory the Theologian and Amphilochios of Ikonion.
13. John Chrysostom and the Antiochian theology.
Patrology, Patristics, Church Fathers, Apostolic Fathers, Apologists, Alexandrian School, Cappadocian Fathers, John Chrysostom
Additional bibliography for study
Π. Χρήστου, Ελληνική Πατρολογία, τ. Α´ (Εισαγωγή), Θεσσαλονίκη 2004 (Ηλεκτρονικές Σημειώσεις από το elearning.auth.gr)
Π. Χρήστου, Ελληνική Πατρολογία, τ. Β´ (Περίοδος Διωγμών), Θεσσαλονίκη 2005
Π. Χρήστου, Ελληνική Πατρολογία, τ. Γ´ (Περίοδος Θεολογικής Ακμής, Δ´ και Ε´ αιώνες), Θεσσαλονίκη 2008
Στ. Παπαδόπουλος, Πατρολογία, τ. Α´ (Εισαγωγή, Β´και Γ´ αιώνας), Αθήνα 2011
Στ. Παπαδόπουλος, Πατρολογία, τ. Β´ (Ο τέταρτος αιώνας), Αθήνα 2011
Δ. Τσάμης, Εισαγωγή στη σκέψη των Πατέρων της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας, Θεσσαλονίκη 2005
Η. Μουτσούλας, Εισαγωγή εις την Πατρολογίαν, Αθήνα 2009
Χρ. Αραμπατζής, Χριστιανική Γραμματεία, τ. Α´: Εκκλησιαστικοί Συγγραφείς και κείμενα της πρώτης χιλιετίας, Θεσσαλονίκη 2008
F. Young, L. Ayres, A. Louth (eds.), The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, Cambridge, 2008
C. Richardson, Early Christian Fathers, Kentucky, 2006.