RLB219 Early Christianity in the Perspective of Social and Natural Sciences

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2021
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
PhDr. Dalibor Papoušek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
PhDr. Iva Doležalová (lecturer)
Mgr. Tomáš Glomb, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Aleš Chalupa, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. David Zbíral, Ph.D.
Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Mgr. Kateřina Sedlářová
Supplier department: Department for the Study of Religions - Faculty of Arts
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/30, only registered: 0/30
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course outlines an important segment of innovative approaches in the study of early Christianity. It deals mainly with analyses based on network theory and with modeling on mathematical and computational basis. Besides the spreading dynamics of early Christianity, the course is focused on selected traditional topics of the sociology of early Christianity in their intersections with the cognitive science of religion.
Learning outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to:
  • demonstrate the basic knowledge of network approaches and modeling in the research of early Christianity;
  • evaluate critically their contribution as well as weak points;
  • distinguish qualitative historical approaches from quantitative methods based on formalized coding of historical sources and utilization of databases;
  • review new publications dealing with concerned topics.
  • Syllabus
    • Introduction to the course.
    • Introduction to network theory and modeling of historical processes.
    • Network analysis of spreading of religious innovations through the Greco-Roman Mediterranean.
    • The importance of synagogal network in the spreading process of early Christianity.
    • Types of religious communities in the late antique Mediterranean.
    • Role of women in the social communication of early Christian churches.
    • Ritual meal in the early Christian communities.
    • Social-cognitive aspects of baptism.
    • Literacy, book, memory in early Christianity.
    • The importance of codex as a new form of sacred text.
    • Mathematical model of spreading of early Christianity.
    • Primary and secondary centers in the spreading dynamics of early Christianity.
      recommended literature
    • The connected past : challenges to network studies in archaeology and history. Edited by Tom Brughmans - Anna Collar - Fiona Susan Coward. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. xviii, 200. ISBN 9780198748519. info
    • COLLAR, Anna. Religious networks in the Roman empire : the spread of new ideas. 1st pub. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. xii, 322. ISBN 9781107043442. info
    • HARLAND, Philip A. Associations, synagogues, and congregations : claiming a place in ancient Mediterranean society. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003. xv, 399. ISBN 0800635892. info
    • Dynamics of identity in the world of the early Christiansassociations, Judeans, and cultural minorities. Edited by Philip A. Harland. New York: T & T Clark, 2009. xii, 239 p. ISBN 0567111466. info
    • Early Christian families in context : an interdisciplinary dialogue. Edited by David L. Balch - Carolyn Osiek. Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans publishing company, 2003. xix, 412. ISBN 080283986X. info
    • URO, Risto. Ritual and Christian beginnings : a socio-cognitive analysis. First edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. vi, 230. ISBN 9780199661176. info
    • HURTADO, Larry W. The earliest Christian artifacts : manuscripts and Christian origins. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006. xiv, 248. ISBN 0802828957. info
    Teaching methods
    Lectures; semestral written commentaries on assigned texts; class discussions; colloquial review of a chosen monograph.
    Assessment methods
    Requirements for the colloquium:
  • six semestral written commentaries on assigned texts;
  • at least three presentations in class discusion concerning commentaries;
  • colloquial review of a chosen monograph.
    The final assessment includes: semestral commentaries and participation in class discussions (100 points in a ratio 60:40 = 50 %, limit 60 points); colloquial review of a chosen monograph (100 points = 50 %, limit 60 points).
  • Language of instruction
    Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
    The course is taught once in two years.
    The course is taught: every other week.
    Information on course enrolment limitations: Zápis mimo religionistiku je podmíněn souhlasem vyučujících.
    The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2008, Spring 2011, Autumn 2014, Spring 2017.
    • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2021, recent)
    • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/phil/spring2021/RLB219