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The Christian faith arrived in North Africa in the middle of the first century AD. In the eastern region, Christians spoke Greek or indigenous languages. By the second century, there were also Christian communities in the western part of the southern Mediterranean coast, the regions the Romans called ‘Africa’. The earliest evidence of this North African Christianity survives in Latin. While Christians in much of the Mediterranean world, including Italy, still used the Greek language, the Christian faith in North Africa was expressed in Latin. What took shape here from the late second century onward profoundly shaped Christianity. Latin-speaking Christianity and Latin-speaking theology did originate in North Africa.

The impact of these beginnings in Latin North Africa reaches into the Reformation and shapes the various branches of modern Protestantism, from German Lutheranism to Anglicanism. Anyone interested in the Reformation and its significance for modern Christianity would do well to be aware of the Latin roots of Christianity. In order to study the Reformation and its impact it is necessary to know some Latin. The Wittenberg Center for Reformation Studies therefore offers courses in which Latin language skills are trained. Graduate students who have had little opportunity to learn and practice Latin in their studies and research are invited by the Wittenberg Center for Reformation Studies to join a course that introduces them to the Latin language. Using a standard textbook, students will learn elementary vocabulary and basic grammar and practice on texts from the Bible and the ecclesiastical tradition.

The next introductory course will be held from February to May 2023. To participate, students must be willing to spend about 30 minutes a day studying vocabulary and grammar and doing language exercises, and meeting online once a week for 60 to 90 minutes. There is no cost to participate. For more information, please contact the director of German Reformation Studies, Dr. Andreas Stegmann: