Games List - Alpha Order
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.
Council of Nicaea can also be played with the Roman Prisoner's Dilemma Microgame which is designed to set the scene for this game.
Using the Game
Class Size and Scalability
Confirmed instructors who are not yet members can access basic instructor materials. Reacting Consortium members can access all downloadable materials (including expanded and updated materials) below. You will be asked to sign in before downloading.
Students need a Gamebook, which includes directions, resources, and historical content.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
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.
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.
Forums for Council of Nicaea
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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.
Reacting and Related Titles
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.