History of the Medieval Church (M) (2009/2010)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mariaclara Rossi
Mariaclara Rossi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Feb 22, 2010 al Jun 5, 2010.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

to develop the ability to analyse sources and historiography, identifying the complexity of the historical problems; to examine in detail methods and tools of the historical-religious research through the proposal of concrete investigation methods.


Prerequisites: knowledge, even elementary, of classical Latin, basic knowledge of the ecclesiastical institutions and the religious life from the IV to the XV century and of the epistemological foundations of the discipline.

Content of the course:
The Church and the women in the Christian Occident (ancient and medieval age). During the course a wide range of documents (documentary, literary, agiographic, iconographic sources) of the very problematic and sometimes ambiguous relationship between Christian religion and women from the ancient age to the late medioeval age will be provided.
Parallel to the evolution and the historical development of such a relationship, the main storiographic branches of reasearch which have tried, in the last decades, to offer studies and answers to the problem of the impact of Christian religion (not only in its institutional dimension) on women’s life, will be presented. (The problem has been summarized and simplified in the following question: have the Christian religion and the Church represented for women of the ancient and medieval age significant glimmers of hope to have access to culture, to an independent spirituality and to the public sphere or have they given a decisive contribution to their subordination and exclusion?).

Reference books

-Mistiche e devote nell’Italia tardo medievale, cura di D. Bornstein, R. Rusconi, Napoli 1992.
-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.
-C. Casagrande, La donna custodita, in Storia delle donne, a cura di G. Duby e M. Pierrot: Il medioevo, a cura di C. Klapisch-Zuber, Roma-Bari 1990, pp. 88-128.
-J. Dalarun, Francesco: un passaggio. Donna e donne negli scritti e nelle leggende di Francesco d’Assisi, Prefazione di G. Miccoli, Roma 1994.
-Donne e fede, a cura di L. Scaraffia e G. Zarri, Roma-Bari1994 (saggi concordati con la docente)
-R. Rusconi, Problemi e fonti per la storia religiosa delle donne in Italia alla fine del medioevo (secoli XIII-XV), in «Ricerche di storia sociale e religiosa», 48 (1995), pp. 53-75
-P. L’Hermite-Leclercq, L’Église et les femmes dans l’Occident Chrétien des origines à la fin du Moyen Age, Brepols 1997 (solo per frequentanti).
-M. Benedetti, Io non sono Dio. Guglielma da Milano e i Figli dello Spirito Santo, Milano 1998.
-La bibbia nell’interpretazione delle donne, a cura di C. Leonardi, F. Santi, A. Valerio, Firenze 2002 (saggi concordati con la docente).
-C. Klapisch-Zuber, Maschile/femminile, in Dizionario dell’Occidente medievale, a cura di J. Le Goff, J.C. Schmitt, Torino 2004 (=Paris 1999), II, pp. 644-657.
-Donne cristiane e sacerdozio. Dalle origini all’età contemporanea, cura di D. Corsi, Roma 2004 (saggi da concordare con la docente).
-G.G. Merlo, Streghe, Bologna 2006.
-Storia della mariologia. Vol.1: Dal modello biblico al modello letterario, Roma 2009 (saggi concordati insieme alla docente).

A collection of sources will be distributed during the course.

Teaching methods: frontal lessons within a seminary context, reading and analysis of sources.

Assessment methods and criteria

oral interviews and possible written reports to be previously agreed with the teacher.