Latest News




Unit Weighting           

9 credit points

Type of Unit                




Academic Staff            


Curriculum Objectives

This course unit engages the thought and methods of the early Church Fathers, investigating the major trends in Christian tradition to early fifth century. It assists students to understand the connection between historical circumstances, the spiritual life and the formulation of Christian theology.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the historical and ecclesial contexts of various trends in early patristic tradition
  2. Display an awareness of the main themes pertaining to early patristic tradition
  3. Utilise primary and secondary sources in the analysis of patristic themes
  4. Analyse themes pertaining to the early patristic tradition within their immediate and distant literary and historical contexts
  5. Assess the relevance of patristic tradition to contemporary scholarship and the Christian experience


  1. Apostolic fathers and martyrdom literature
  2. Greek and Latin apologists
  3. Defenders of the apostolic tradition
  4. The Alexandrians
  5. The Cappadocians
  6. Early Syrian fathers
  7. Fathers from Jerusalem and Antioch
  8. The Latin fathers of fourth and fifth centuries

Assessment Profile

  1. Book review (1,200 words). Value: 30%    
  2. Essay (2,000 words). Value: 50%    
  3. Take home exam (800 words). Value: 20%   


See Timetable