From the monthly archives

November 2010

Christian History is an engaging and interesting subject. And, you don’t have to be a theology major at a major institution to take Christian history classes. Here are 21 open courseware classes on Christian history that you can take for free.

  1. Foundations of Western Culture II Renaissance to Modernity: Follow the social and scientific changes in the Western world from the Renaissance to contemporary culture. This class overviews the “general loss of a supernatural or religious perspective upon human events. The course is offered by MIT.
  2. Foundations of Theology: Offered by Notre Dame, one of the foremost theological schools, this class follows the evolution of the early church and discusses the Bible’s role as a reference for Christians.
  3. Medieval Literature: Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer: Analyze how religtion and spirituality are depicted in Medieval literature in this class from MIT.
  4. Jews and Christians Throughout History: This class from Notre Dame discusses how Christians and Jews have interacted since the time of Christ. It covers anti-Semitism in Christianity and how Christians and Jews might work together in the future.
  5. Catholic Theology: This class from Religion-Online teaches about Catholic theology from a collection of texts and resources.
  6. The New Testament: Discover the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John from Religion Online.
  7. After Colombus: This class from MIT explores how Colombus brought Christianity to the New World, and challenged ideas about spirituality and identity.
  8. Introduction to the Old Testament: This course from Yale teaches different methods of interpreting, critiquing and understanding the Old Testament.
  9. Wesley: This class from Religion Online teaches students about John Wesley and his school of theology.
  10. Arthurian Literature and Celtic Colonization: An interesting course from MIT on how the Catholic Church and early British imperialism influenced culture, identity and history.
  11. Christian Ethics: A class from Religion Online that explores the intentions, history and dynamics of Christian ethics and principles.
  12. Major Authors: John Milton: This class from MIT explores John Milton’s work, and particularly how his work Paradise Lost tackled controversial concepts like original sin and temptation.
  13. Congregational Life: This class from Religion Online explores the dynamics of Christian church congregations, including small churches and seminaries.
  14. The Ancient World: Rome: Explore religious trends and ideology that shaped Ancient Rome, paving the way toward Christianity in this class from MIT.
  15. Evangelical – Conservative Theology: This course from Religion Online explores evangelism and American Christianity.
  16. The Nature of Mission: In this course from Religion Online, you’ll explore world missions in China and the concept of baptism, as you look at the nature of mission work.
  17. History of Western Civilization: This Boise State course covers history including the Reformation and the Crusades.
  18. The Age of Reason: Europe in the 18th and 19th Centuries: This history class from MIT covers a time period that shaped European Christianity.
  19. Learning from the Past: Drama, Science, Performance: This class from MIT explores how the works of Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Moliere and Descartes influenced an intersection of scientific method and ideas about religion, art, and society.
  20. Death: This course from Yale covers the concepts of immortality, death and suicide, including from a religious perspective.
  21. From Self and Other to We: This class from Gresham College explores the notion of self and the other in regard to philosophical and religious systems.

There is no better way to improve your knowledge about the history of Christianity than by studying these history, theology and philosophy classes offered by the various universities mentioned here. It is really amazing how much of an education you can get from using open courseware offered by colleges all over the country for free. Everyone should take advantage of the wealth of knowledge offered by open courseware classes; regardless of your field of study. You can rest assured that there is a wealth of information out there about your chosen profession and about other subjects you have interest in. Be sure to explore these and the many other open courseware classes out there.