Make sure to follow the following instructions for each discussions:

  • Write a short essay or paragraph of at least 100 words. Do not go over 250 words.
  • Use concrete examples/details and avoid generalities.
  • Address all questions.
  • Use proper grammar and punctuation.
  • If you researched your topic and are using information from what you learned, remember to cite your sources.
  • Do not plagiarize.

Discussion #1:

Symbolism and Early Christian Art

Early Christian symbols, used to covertly identify and communicate with other converts, continued to be used in the visual arts even after Christianity was legalized in 313 C.E. To this day, the ichthus and Good Shepherd, among many others, are synonymous with specific principles of the Christian faith.

Search the Internet

To get a better understanding of Early Christian symbols, do some research.

Learn more about the study of early Christian symbols, icons, and texts:

Iconographic indexes (early Christian)

Codicology (the study of books, manuscripts, and codices as physical objects)

Paleography (deciphering historical manuscripts and writing)

Image Search

Observe how some of the early Christian symbols continued to appear in later art objects, some even up to the present day:

Orans (depictions of gesture)

Staurogram (cross-monogram)

Symbols of the four evangelists

Christ as the Good Shepherd

Ichthus (ancient thru contemporary uses of the symbol)

Respond to these questions after exploring the internet sites above.

  1. Early Christian symbols continued to appear in art even after Christianity was legalized and the practical purpose of secret symbols was no longer necessary. What do these symbols tell us about the Christian identity established in the earliest Christian art?
  2. Do you wear (or have you ever worn) religious symbols as personal adornment? Why so? What do these symbols signify to you? To others?

Discussion #2:

  1. What aspects of your religious upbringing and education have been clarified (or challenged) by this chapter? If you had no religious upbringing, discuss the part of the chapter that interested you most and explain why.

Discussion #3:


Medieval Western Architecture

Explore and discuss.

The fall of the Roman empire led to a combination of Roman, Christian, and Germanic elements in the architecture of the resulting new kingdoms. The Middle Ages introduced new architectural styles, including Romanesque, then Gothic churches.

Search the Internet

Learn more about the architecture of the medieval period:

Research Pages:

Image Search:

Examine the images of Romanesque churches on pages 153 through 156  and Gothic churches on pages 157 through 163. Learn more about these styles, as well as other religious structures being built elsewhere at the same time, on the Web.

  1. What were the unique features of the Romanesque and Gothic styles?

Discussion #4:

  1. What events and circumstances led to the Renaissance in Italy?



Discussion #5:

  1. Discuss the three landmarks that you consider most important to the phenomenon known as the Protestant Reformation. Why and how were these significant?
  2. Which have most deeply influenced and/or survived into our own time.

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