Forms of Religious Life in the Christian West (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mariaclara Rossi
Mariaclara Rossi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 19, 2018 al Jan 12, 2019.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course aims to develop the skills needed to:
* read and interpret sources and use the tools of historical-religious scholarship;
* critique sources in relation to the issues faced by historical-religious scholarship;
* navigate specialised bibliography, in addition to the manual;
* develop independently a research project in the field of the history of Christianity and religious life.
* read and transcribe an archive source.


Church and Women in the Christian West (Ancient and Middle Ages).
The course aims to investigate bibliography and sources (some example of documentary, literary, hagiographic sources) concerning the relationship, sometimes very problematic, between Christian religion and women from the origin of Christianity to Late Middle Ages. Together with the evolution and historical development of that relationship some thematic itineraries, exemplifying the attendance / exclusion of women from the life of the Church, will be presented.

Required reading for students attending the course:

A. Valerio, Donne Chiesa. Una storia di genere, Roma 2016.

R. Guarnieri, Donne e Chiesa tra mistiche e istituzioni (secoli XIII-XV), Roma 2004 or

A. Bartolomei Romagnoli, Santità e mistica femminile nel medioevo, Spoleto 2013.

Required reading for students not attending the course:

In addition to the essays contained in the two manuals mentioned above, it is recommended that students read one of the works listed below:

B. Selene Zorzi, “Al di là del genio femminile”. Donne e genere nella teologia cristiana, Roma 2015.

-J. Dalarun, La donna vista dai chierici, in Storia delle donne, a cura di G. Duby e M. Pierrot: Il medioevo, a cura di C. Klapisch-Zuber, Roma-Bari 1990, pp. 24-55.

-Donne cristiane e sacerdozio. Dalle origini all’età contemporanea, cura di D. Corsi, Roma 2004.

-C. Lee, La tradizione misogina, in Lo spazio letterario del medioevo; 2. Medioevo volgare, IV L’attualizzazione del testo, Roma 2004, pp. 509-544.

-Le donne nella chiesa e in Italia, a cura di L. Mezzadri, M. Tagliaferri, Cinisello Balsamo 2007.

Teaching methods:
For students attending the course the main teaching methods will be the traditional lecture, interspersed with seminar type discussions where students will have an opportunity to raise particular questions and issues. In this course there will also be a mid-course evaluation consisting of a paper/presentation to be given by the student on the topics developed in the lectures. During the lectures a collection of sources will be distributed and examined which will constitute part of the programme. Other bibliographic references useful for an exploration of the topic will be provided over the course of the lectures.
Activities supporting the teaching: seminars, meetings and conferences on the topics of Christianity recommended or organized by the teacher.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
B. Selene Zorzi "Al di là del genio femminile". Donne e genere nella teologia cristiana Carocci 2015
Dinora Corsi (a cura di) Donne cristiane e sacerdozio Viella 2004
Romana Guarnieri Donne e Chiesa tra mistiche e istituzioni (secoli XIII-XV) 2004
Adriana Valerio Donne e Chiesa. Una storia di genere Carocci 2016
C. Lee La tradizione misogina Salerno 2004
L. Mezzadri, M. Tagliaferri ( a cura di) Le donne nella Chiesa e in Italia 2007
A. Bartolomei Romagnoli Santità e mistica femminile nel medioevo Centro Italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo 2013 978-88-6809-021-0

Assessment methods and criteria

Examination methods:
Oral interviews. The oral exam will be an interview covering the topics that were dealt with during the lectures and expanded on in the study manuals. The interview will aim to determine:
-the students’ knowledge of the topic,
-their ability to use a specialised language,
-their ability to make connections between various arguments and to argue points in an appropriate manner,
-their ability to read and contextualize an archive source.