The Catholic University of America

putti1.gif (4616 bytes)TRS 220  The Church Through the Ages:  From St. Paul to Luther

Aquinas Hall 102, M-W 3:10-4:25 P.M.

     Bulletin Board    The Class of 2009

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This course will examine the history of the Christian church from the Apostolic Age to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  For more information about the contents of the course

Click here


St Peters, Rome at Christmas

Emperor Constantine

The First Christian Roman Emperor

Religious Procession in Catania, Sicily ca. 1800

Ken Pennington    

326-328 Caldwell Hall
Tel. 319-6264
416 Law School
Tel. 319-5150 


Office Hours - Fall 2009:

M-W 11:30-12:30 (326-328 Caldwell)

M-W 1:30-2:30 (416 Law)

M 7:00-8:00 PM (416 Law)

and by appointment

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  (Click on addresses to send Email)

Home tel.: 202-547-3620

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Rogier van der Weyden, Bladelin Altar


Any interest in what Professor Pennington does outside of TRS 220?  Click here

Graduate Assistants

Samuel Vasquez

Office:  Caldwell 326-328

Office Hours:  W 1:00-2:00 PM

To email Click here

Jacob Wood

Office: Caldwell 326-328

Office Hours: M 2:00-3:00  PM

To email Click here

Topics and materials for TRS 220

The digitized maps in the Topics are taken from a variety of sources.  Two atlases have been particularly useful:  The Harper Atlas of World History (Harper-Collins) and The Times (of London) Atlas of World History (Hammond).  You can consult both volumes in Mullen Library.
Topic 1

The Apostolic Church and the Roman Empire

Topic 2

Conversion of Northern Europe

Topic 3

Christianity in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Rise of Islam

Topic 4

Charlemagne and the Vikings

Topic 5

The Gregorian Reform and the First Crusade

Topic 6

The Church in the Twelfth Century and the Rise of the Papacy


Topic  7

Gothic Architecture

and Music

Topic 8

Papacy in Avignon, The Great Schism, Conciliarism

Topic 9

Religion in the Renaissance

Art, Society, and Religious Mentalité of the Renaissance


Postscript to the Medieval Church (Time permitting)


Course Requirements:  Two essay examinations, emails, and five quizzes
Mid-Term Essay Examination Final Essay Examination
Required Text: F. Donald Logan, The History of the Church in the Middle Ages (London-New York:  Routledge, 2002)  ISBN 0-415-13289-4

This text may be bought at the CUA Bookstore or ordered from or Barnes and Noble for $26.82 at Amazon (no tax, free shipping) and Barnes and Noble for $28.12 plus tax (that's a no brainer).



The course meets twice a week: Lectures on the topics of the course each Monday and Wednesday in the Aquinas Hall 102

This Homepage for TRS 220 will provide internet links that you will find useful for the course. You will be informed by Email when links or material are added to the Homepage that you should consult. There will be other links on the Homepage that will not be part of the course requirements but that will expand your horizons!

Important Internet Sites for this Class Extra Credit Opportunity for TRS 220

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Each student will be assigned a mentor, either Sammuel or Jacob.  You must send an Email message to either Sammuel or Jacob by Friday, September 11th. After that date, we ask you to contact your mentor with any questions or comments that you have about the course.  They can be very helpful to you for achieving success in the class.   Further, each student must write to Professor Pennington at the beginning of the semester (deadline for sending your email to Professor Pennington is September 11th. The message to Professor Pennington should tell him about your interests and background.   An important reason for these emails is to build a listserve for the class with which we will keep you informed, so send your email through your preferred email server.

Feel free to email Professor Pennington more than once if you wish.  You may ask him questions about the materials of the course, send him comments on the course, tell him how much you enjoy Washington's great museums, or anything else that strikes your fancy.  

Schedule of Topics for Fall 2009

Audio recordings of the lectures are linked to each date.  Click on the link

August 31: Introduction   The Meaning of "Church"
September 2-(No class on September 7, Labor Day)-Sept. 9- Sept. 14 (Sorry, no audio lecture for Sept. 14)-Sept. 16: The Apostolic Church, Spread of Christianity in the Mediterranean, The Christian Roman Empire

Readings: Logan, Chapter 1

Topic Web Page 1

Sept. 21(Quiz): The Conversion of Northern Europe: Franks, Irish, Scandinavians, Slavs and Germans

Readings: Logan, Chapters 2 and 4

Topic Web Page 2


Sept. 23: Christianity in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Rise of Islam

Readings: Logan, Chapter 3

   Topic Web Page 3


Sept. 28 - Sept. 30:Islam and Charlemagne

Readings: Logan, Chapter 5

 Topic Web Page 4


 Oct. 5 (Quiz) - Oct. 7: The Vikings, the Gregorian Reform and the First Crusade

Readings:  Logan, Chapters 6 and 7

Topic Web Page 5

Oct. 12: Columbus Day:  Monday  October 13th  No Class

October 14:   Review for Midterm  Midterm Examination Questions

October 19: Midterm Examination

Oct. 21 - Oct. 26 - Oct. 28 - Nov. 2 (Quiz), Nov. 4 - Nov. 9 - Nov.  11 - Nov. 16 -(Quiz) Nov. 18 (Incomplete recording) :

The Church in the Twelfth Century and the Rise of the Papacy;   Abelard's Sermon at Cluny

Readings:  Logan, Chapters 8-9, 10 11, 12, 13

   Topic Web Page 6   


Nov. 23:  A New Christian Architecture Shapes European Cities

Readings:  Logan, Chapter 12

 Topic Web Page 7


Nov.  30: The Papacy in Avignon, The Great Schism, Conciliarism

Readings:  Logan, Chapters 14, 15, 16, 17

Topic Web Page 8

   Nov. 25:  Thanksgiving Vacation:  No Class
Dec. 2 - Dec.7 - Dec. 9 (Quiz): The Papacy in Avignon, The Great Schism, Conciliarism

Dec.  14: Art, Society, Religious Mentalité of the Renaissance, The Building of Saint Peter's Basilica

Visual Materials:  On the Class Web Site

Topic Web Page 9


Postscript to the Medieval Church: The Spread of Christianity beyond the Borders of Christendom, Luther and the Protestant Revolt, The Reform of the Catholic Church

Topic Web Page 10


Examinations and Quizzes

There will be five quizzes during the semester.  They will be an identification for which you must write a paragraph describing the IMPORTANCE of the person, place or thing.

The examinations will be essays with four identifications and one illustration taken from the visual materials on the Website.

Final examination will be on  Wednesday, Dec. 16th from 4:00-6:00 PM in Aquinas 102.

(Click here to see Final Examination Questions)


The grades for the course will be calculated on the basis of five quizzes (one quiz with the lowest grade will be dropped) (20%), mid-term essay examination (30%) and final essay examination (50%).  There is an opportunity for extra-credit work that would add points to either your mid-term or your final examinations.  For more information click here.


There is a marked relationship between attendance and performance in a class.  For that reason there is a strict attendance policy in this class.  More than three absences during the semester will result in an automatic lowering of your final grade by one step (i.e. A to A-).  Excused absences will not count.  You may receive an excused absence by emailing Professor Pennington before the beginning of the class.  Attendance will be taken during the last 15 minutes of the class.

Other matters

If a student has a disability for which special consideration during examinations is necessary, please contact the instructors during their office hours.

Advice on avoiding plagiarism.  Plagiarism is the worst academic sin that a person can commit.  Students can destroy their futures and professors can lose their tenure if they fall into the plagiarist pit.  CUA's writing program has a good webpage that discusses the issue and, most importantly, rules for avoiding it.  Click here for the webpage.


If you encounter any academic difficulties in this course, please contact the instructors immediately. We can be sympathetic and helpful!