ThM 563 Church Fathers


The writings of Greek philosophers offer insightful background material for comprehending the early church fathers. Church Fathers is a course that covers the efforts of the church fathers to refute what they believed were heretical statements of the philosophers. This course analyzes the assumptions of the Greek philosophers and how they conflict with the arguments of the church fathers. Thus, this course will cover readings on important Greek philosophers in order to identify significant methodological themes, such as genres, relevant questions and philosophical arguments. These aspects will then be compared with the methodological themes used by the church fathers in order to assess the roots of the conflicts.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the philosophical aspects refuted by the church fathers.
  • Critically analyze the methodologies used by philosophers.
  • Gain understanding of the methodologies employed by the church fathers.
  • Identify the areas where conflicting arguments from the philosophers and the church fathers spring from.
  • Apply methods of critical reading of philosophical and church texts.
  • Analyze the debate between philosophical contentions and the church fathers’ arguments.