Christian Tradition, Spring 2016 Study Guide

Day 4: Mission & Expansion

Important people, terms, and concepts; know their significance for Christianity


Key themes,

boundaries between Christians and Jews, Christians and pagans

Study Questions
What do the Acts of John, Acts of Thomas, and Dialogue with Trypho present as the most important aspects of Christianity?  (Consider each text on its own.)






These three texts are accounts of conversion, or attempts at conversion.  What about Christianity are they trying to “sell” to their audience?  How do they “sell” it?






Based on the Acts of John, Acts of Thomas, and Dialogue with Trypho, what about Christianity would be appealing to pagans or Jews in the Roman Empire?  (I realize you don’t know much about ancient paganism and Judaism, but give it a try.  Try to put yourself in the position of a pagan or a Jewish person in the Roman Empire, not a modern person very familiar with Christianity.) 




In Hippolytus:  what does a catechumen have to do to fully become a Christian?  What kinds of things about the religion of Christianity do these rituals, practices, and requirements signal?







Based on all of the readings, but especially Hippolytus, what about Christianity would be a obstacle for convincing people to convert to Christianity?






Is Christianity’s exclusivity a selling-point or a stumbling block?





You are welcome to bring any other questions/discussion topics to class as well.