Products>Mobile Ed: CS201 Western Civilization: Greeks to Aquinas (8 hour course)

Mobile Ed: CS201 Western Civilization: Greeks to Aquinas (8 hour course)

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Survey over 1,200 years of western civilization with Dr. Bryan Litfin—theologian, historian, and acclaimed author. Hear about the trials and triumphs of the church throughout the most pivotal stages of western civilization, from the spread of Hellenism, to the fall of Rome and the rise of Europe. Find out how the church established the canon of scripture and developed the early creeds. Gain insight into why the church met in councils and how they defined doctrines like the nature of Jesus Christ and the Trinity. Discover how Christianity influenced western culture, as well as how western culture influenced Christianity—in politics, art and architecture, and education. Finally, learn about the role of the papacy in religious reform and how the crusades related to the emergence of Islam.

Dr. Litfin combines his research in the early church, cultural studies, and historical doctrine into this unique eight-hour course, designed for Mobile Ed.


Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Describe the Jewish, Greek, and Roman background of the early church
  • Describe the concepts of catholicity and orthodoxy as goals of the church fathers
  • Outline the interplay of persecution and the development of the early church during the first three centuries
  • Discuss the impact of Constantine’s conversion and the Edict of Toleration on the development from the early church to Christendom
  • Discuss the slow separation between Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) Christianity, the rise of the papacy, and the Great Schism between East and West
  • Discuss the formulation of theology and its expression through the creeds
  • Describe how Celtic Christianity arose and its function within Christendom
  • Discuss the dynamic of church and state interaction through the Middle Ages
  • Recognize the names of significant people, events, and ideas and be able to engage in discussions regarding them

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: Introduction: A Christian View of History

  • The Concept of “Catholicity”
  • The Methods of Historical Inquiry: How Do We Do History?

Unit 2: Background of the Early Church: Judaism

  • Monotheism
  • Jewish History to the Time of Jesus
  • Key Aspects of First-Century Judaism
  • Using Ratings and Collections to Search for Key Terms

Unit 3: Background of the Early Church: The Greeks

  • The Classical Era
  • Alexander and His Conquests
  • Features of Hellenism

Unit 4: Background of the Early Church: The Romans

  • Rome and the Early Church: Friends or Foes?
  • A Brief Survey of Roman History
  • Aspects of Roman Culture Conducive to the Gospel
  • Using Search Operators to Find Information about Roman Travel

Unit 5: The Birth of Christianity

  • Key Ideas of the “Orthodox” Church
  • The Myth of Early Universal Orthodoxy
  • The Myth of Radical Diversity
  • How Orthodoxy Was Formed

Unit 6: Judaism and the Early Church

  • Hebrews, Hellenists, and Heretical Sects
  • James and the Jerusalem Church
  • Understanding and Using the Referent Database
  • The Church versus the Synagogue

Unit 7: Strategies to Achieve Catholicity

  • The Monepiscopacy
  • Using Louw-Nida Numbers to Research Church Leadership
  • The Canon of Scripture
  • The Creeds of the Ancient Church

Unit 8: Persecution in the Early Church

  • The Reasons behind Persecution
  • The Roman Imperial Cult
  • Historical Stages of Persecution
  • Using the Timeline to Look Up Persecution in Church History

Unit 9: Imperial Christianity

  • The Rise of Constantine
  • Two Important Successors to Constantine
  • The Imperial Theology of Eusebius

Unit 10: The Council of Nicaea

  • The Theology of Arius
  • Nicene Trinitarianism

Unit 11: Early Christian Art and Architecture

  • The Catacombs
  • Finding Images of the Catacombs and Storing Them in Favorites
  • Types of Early Christian Art
  • Triumphal Art after Constantine
  • Early Christian Buildings

Unit 12: Augustine of Hippo

  • Augustine’s Life
  • Augustine’s View of History
  • Using Notes to Track Augustine’s View of the Two Cities
  • Augustine’s Legacy for Western Civilization

Unit 13: The Council of Chalcedon

  • Heretical Christologies
  • The Alexandrians and the Antiochians
  • Chalcedon and Its Aftermath

Unit 14: Early Christian Monasticism

  • Antecedents of Early Christian Monasticism
  • The Historical Motive
  • Finding Information on the Origins of Monasticism
  • Key Figures in Early Christian Monasticism

Unit 15: Christian Mission

  • Alternate Christian Expressions
  • Early Missionary Efforts

Unit 16: The Byzantine World

  • Constantine and His City
  • The Splendor of Justinian
  • Conversion of the Slavs
  • Eastern Orthodox Distinctives

Unit 17: The Fall of Rome

  • Historical Explanations
  • The Barbarian Invasions
  • New Alliances for the Church

Unit 18: The Rise of the Papacy

  • Apostolic Succession
  • The Prestige of Rome
  • Theology of the Papacy
  • Using the Clause Search to Explore the Relationship between Jesus and Peter
  • Key Figures in the Development of the Papacy

Unit 19: British and Celtic Christianity

  • Early History of the British Isles
  • Christianity in Britain
  • The Celtic Church
  • The Anglo-Saxons

Unit 20: The Birth of Europe

  • Political Structures
  • Religious Beliefs and Practices
  • Cultural Institutions
  • Using the Sermon Starter Guide to Find a Biblical Perspective on War

Unit 21: Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance

  • Rise of the Carolingians out of the Dark Ages
  • Rebirth under Charlemagne
  • The Holy Roman Empire
  • The Viking Invasions

Unit 22: The High Middle Ages

  • Reforms of Gregory VII
  • Lay Investiture Controversy
  • Romanesque and Gothic Architectural Styles
  • The Great Schism

Unit 23: Life in Medieval Christendom

  • William the Conqueror
  • Norman Castles
  • Thomas Becket and the “Murder in the Cathedral”
  • Pope Innocent III

Unit 24: The Crusades

  • Interpretation and Motivations
  • Historical Context: The Rise of Islam
  • The First Crusade
  • Results of the Crusades

Unit 25: Medieval Intellectualism

  • Two Important Intellectual Leaders: Alcuin and Anselm
  • New Monastic Orders: Cistercians, Dominicans, and Franciscans
  • Rise of the Universities
  • Scholasticism and Thomas Aquinas


  • Conclusion to the Course

Product Details

  • Title: CS201 Western Civilization: Greeks to Aquinas
  • Instructor: Bryan M. Litfin
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 8
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About Bryan M. Litfin

Dr. Bryan M. Litfin professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Early Christian Martyr Stories: An Evangelical Introduction with New Translations and Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction as well as several scholarly articles and essays.

Getting the most out of Mobile Ed

Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course was produced with screencast videos. These videos provide tutorials showing you how to use Logos Bible Software in ways that are tied directly into the content of the course. We are now producing Activities resources as a replacement for screencast videos. We plan on updating this course to include this additional Activities resource in the future for no extra charge.



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  1. Isaac Love

    Isaac Love


    I took this course at Moody in person. So valuable to learn about our history as the church!


Collection value: $439.99
Save $140.00 (31%)
Payment plans available in cart