RSTU 397 The Popes of Rome: History of the Catholic Church




HS/RL 200 – The Popes of Rome: History of the Catholic Church 



Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


Course description:

This course aims at an objective and unbiased analysis of over 2,000 years of history directly involving the institution commonly referred to as the “Catholic Church” via the prism of human civilization’s oldest surviving theocratic monarchy and continuously surviving “sovereign state” commonly referred to as the “papacy,” the ruler of which is Rome’s bishop, a.k.a. the “Pope,” and holder of the world’s most ancient and continuously surviving institutional office, that of “Pontifex Maximus“. A subsequent synthesis of major ideas, figures, and conflicts throughout the same historical period and their ramifications for the Catholic Church, the papacy, and civilization as a whole will be addressed.

One cannot understand the current global state of affairs (economic, political, religious, etc.) without some understanding of the history of the Popes and the Catholic Church. This course seeks to address these issues and more in four parts: 1) Roman Antiquity and the Rise of Christianity (e.g. how early Christians bribed Roman officials to avoid arrest!); 2) The End of Ancient Civilization and the Rise of the Catholic Church (e.g. how Roman emperors were replaced with Christian bishops to hear legal cases in courts of law!); 3) The Dawn and Downfall of the Papacy (e.g. how ambassadors of Genghis Khan’s infamous “Mongolian Horde” were present at a Church Council in medieval Europe…and became baptized Catholics!); 4) Reformation and Revolution (e.g. how NASA sent two Vatican space probes beyond our own solar system…on U.S. taxpayers’ expense!). Several site visits are included.




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