• Christianity: The First Three-Thousand Years | Diarmaid MacCulloch
  • Documents of the Christian Church | Henry Bettenson & Chris Maunder
  • Introduction to Christianity | Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
  • The Modern Middle East: A History | James Gelvin
  • A History of God: The 4000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam | Karen Armstrong
Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years by Diarmaid MacCulloch. This is the central text of the course, and has been the main authority on matters related to the direction and emphasis of the course.
Introduction to Christianity by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. This book is older, but useful if one wants to get a birds eye view into the history of Christianity told by a Catholic Cardinal.

Documents of the Christian Church by Henry Bettenson & Chris Maunder. This book is helpful in parsing through primary sources written throughout history as it pertains to Christianity.

The Modern Middle East by James L. Gelvin. This book is helpful in understanding the Islamic Faith and civilization. It has a more recent focus, but still goes into detail regarding the early era of Islam.
A History of God by Karen Armstrong. This book is a great book to read along in sections with MacCulloch’s book, to get a fuller picture of the world of Christianity.


  • Journal of Religious History | Wiley-Blackwell
  • Journal of Early Christian Studies | Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Studies in World Christianity | Edinburgh University Press
  • Journal of Ecclesiastical History | Cambridge University Press
  • Journal of Church and State | Oxford University Press
  • European Journal of Theology | Patemoster Periodicals


  • Summa Theologica | Thomas Aquinas
  • Confessions | Augustine
  • The City of God | Augustine
  • On Christian Doctrine | Augustine
  • On Nature | Pelagius
  • Defense of the Freedom of Will | Pelagius
  • On Faith | Ambrose
  • Vulgate | Jerome
  • Chronicon | Jerome
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion | John Calvin
  • Ninety-Five Theses | Martin Luther
  • On the Freedom of a Christian | Martin Luther
  • On the Bondage of Will | Martin Luther

Supplemental Readings and Resources

  • Women’s Lives in Medieval Europe: A Sourcebook | Emilie Amt
  • Christian Thought: A Historical Introduction | Chad Meister &James Stump
  • Contesting Christendom: Readings in Medieval Religion and Culture | Georges Duby
  • Christian Symbol and Ritual: An Introduction | Bernard Cooke
  • Companion to Religion in Late Antiquity | Augustine Casiday
  • Christianity and Culture in the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of John Van Engen | Ruth Mazzo Karras
  • The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination: Female Clergy in the Medieval | Gary Macy
  • A History of the Churches in the United States and Canada | Robert T. Handy
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