Upcoming events

Follow Us

COUNCIL OF NICAEA

Constantine and the Council of Nicaea: Defining Orthodoxy and Heresy in Christianity, 325 CE

by David E. Henderson and Frank Kirkpatrick

Who was Jesus anyway? God, or Man, or both?

Constantine and the Council of Nicaea plunges students into the theological debates confronting early Christian church leaders. Emperor Constantine has sanctioned Christianity as a legitimate religion within the Roman Empire but discovers that Christians do not agree on fundamental aspects of their beliefs. Some have resorted to violence, battling over which group has the correct theology. Constantine has invited all of the bishops of the church to attend a great church council to be held in Nicaea, hoping to settle these problems and others.

The first order of business is to agree on a core theology of the church to which Christians must subscribe if they are to hold to the “true faith.” Some will attempt to use the creed to exclude their enemies from the church. If they succeed, Constantine may fail to achieve his goal of unity in both empire and church. The outcome of this conference will shape the future of Christianity for millennia.

ABOUT THE GAME

Details

Disciplines
Classics/Classical Antiquity; Religion; Western Civ/History; World History


Era 
4th Century; Ancient History


In a Few Words
Religion, Politics, Christianity


Geography 
Southwest Asia

Themes and Issues  

Relationship between Jesus and God; Apostates and sacraments/baptism


Player Interactions 
Factional, Non-factional, Competitive, Collaborative, Coalition-Building


Level
Published Level 5 game (what's that mean?)


Notable Roles

Constantine, Arius, Athanasius

Mechanics 
Rolling Dice; Formal Podium Rule; Robes, Stoles, and Crosses


Chaos and Demand on Instructor 
This game is moderately chaotic and demanding on the instructor.  The only demanding aspect is the fact that factional alignments fall apart in the later parts of the games as new issues arise.


Primary Source Highlights
 
Gospels of Mark and John; The Acts of the Apostles; Letters of Paul; Letter of the Council of Antioch; Eusebius Chapters I-III, IX, and X

Using the Game

Class Time  
For this game, 2 to 4 setup sessions and 5 to 6 game sessions are recommended.


Possible Reacting Game Pairings
This game can be used on its own, or with other games. These pairings are meant to be illustrative rather than exhaustive or prescriptive. Council of Nicaea may pair well with:


Assignments
You can adjust the assignments based on the desired learning outcomes of your class. This game can include traditional paper/research/thesis-driven writing. All roles are required to give formal speeches.


Class Size and Scalability
 
This game is recommended for classes with 7-40+ students.  The game has been adapted to address the widely varying class sizes. While classes of 7 or 40 are not ideal, the game works well in these cases. The IM contains detailed instructions for scaling the game for various sizes.



GAME MATERIALS

Reacting Consortium members can access all downloadable materials (including expanded and updated materials) below. You will be asked to sign in before downloading.  Basic game materials (Gamebook, Role Sheets, Instructor's Manual, and Handouts) are available to any instructor through the publisher. 

Gamebook

Students need a Gamebook, which includes directions, resources, and historical content. The Council of Nicaea Gamebook is published by Reacting Consortium Press. 

PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-4696-3141-7

EBOOK ISBN: 978-1-4696-3142-4
Available wherever books are sold.

Role Sheets and Add'l Materials

Students also need a Role Sheet, which contains biographical information, role-specific resources or assignments, and their character's secret victory objectives. 

.zip file of .pdf and .docx files.

.zip file of .xlsx and .docx files.

Instructor's Manual


The Instructor's Manual includes guidance for assigning roles, presenting historical context, assignments, activities and discussion topics, and more.  

VERSION 7.4b. Updated 2014. .docx file.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS 

David E. Henderson

David E. Henderson is Professor Emeritus at Trinity College (Connecticut). He is the author of several Reacting game modules on science, public policy, and religion.

Frank Kirkpatrick

Frank Kirkpatrick is the Ellsworth Morton Tracy Lecturer and Professor of Religion, Emeritus, Trinity College. He is author of eight books and numerous articles on the history of the Christian church, the development of its theologies, and Christian social ethics.

QUESTIONS

Members can contact game authors directly

We invite instructors join our Facebook Faculty Lounge, where you'll find a wonderful community eager to help and answer questions. We also encourage you to submit your question for the forthcoming FAQ, and to check out our upcoming events


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...

 title=Anne Hutchinson
The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law, and Intolerance in Puritan New England

The Egyptian Prison
Egyptian Prison Martyrs and the Council of Antioch

Altar of Victory
Christians, Pagans, and the Altar of Victory

reacting@barnard.edu

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software