Hystory of Christianity and of the Churches (2017/2018)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mariaclara Rossi
Mariaclara Rossi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IA dal Sep 25, 2017 al Nov 11, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide the methodological and cultural foundations for a study of the history of Christianity within the wider context of the history of the Western world. It sets out 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;
Prerequisites are at least a basic grasp of Latin and a general familiarity with the history of Antiquity, late Antiquity and the Middle Ages from the I to the XV centuries.


The course will look at the wider historical context in which Christianity developed and spread in Antiquity, late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (I to XV centuries). Along with institutional aspects we will examine the development of religious life and the ideas that animated Christianity in all its components. Attention will also be devoted to moments of transition, crisis and change, with a particular focus on the early centuries of Christianity, on the reforms of the XI century, the religious movements of the XII and XIII centuries , the rise of the Mendicant Orders, the crises of the XIV century.

Required reading for students attending the course:

1) Storia del cristianesimo. 1. L’età antica, edited by Emanuela Prinzivalli, Carocci Editore, Roma 2015, only the sections listed below:
- Enrico Norelli, Gesù di Nazaret, pp. 33-68.
- Ewa Wipszycka, Il consolidamento degli episcopati nella grandi città cristiane, pp. 251-280.
- Fabrizio Vecoli, Il Monachesimo antico, pp. 281-307.
- Teresa Sardella, Il cristianesimo in Occidente dalla fine dell’impero ai regni romano-barbarici, pp. 329-358.
- Adele Monaci Castagno, Ideali di perfezione, modelli di vita e sviluppo del culto dei santi, pp. 411-433.
- Immacolata Aulisa, Le forme e i luoghi della pietà religiosa, pp. 435-460.

2) Storia del cristianesimo. 2. L’età medievale, a cura di Marina Benedetti, Carocci Editore, Roma 2015, the entire book, but especially the contributions by Rosa Maria Parrinello, Alfredo Lucioni, Luigi Canetti, François Bougard, Grado Giovanni Merlo, Maria Clara Rossi, Giuseppe Ligato, Nora Berend, Anna Benvenuti, Marina Benedetti.

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:
- G.G. Grado Merlo, Frate Francesco, Il Mulino, Bologna 2013.
- Jean Flori, Le crociate, Il Mulino, Bologna 2001.
- G.G. Merlo, Valdo. L’eretico di Lione, Claudiana, Torino 2010.
- A. Galdi, Benedetto, Il Mulino, Bologna 2016.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Amalia Galdi Benedetto Il Mulino 2016 A scelta solo per gli studenti non frequentanti
Grado Giovanni Merlo Frate Francesco Il Mulino 2013 A scelta, solo per gli studenti non frequentanti
Jean Flori Le crociate 2001 A scelta, solo per gli studenti non frequentanti
Emanuela Prinzivalli Storia del cristianesimo. 1. L'età antica Carocci 2015 Solo i saggi di Enrico Norelli, Ewa Wipszycka, Fabrizio Vecoli, Teresa Sardella, Adele Monaci Castagno, Immacolata Aulisa
Marina Benedetti Storia del cristianesimo. 2. L'età medievale Carocci 2015
Grado Giovanni Merlo Valdo. L'eretico di Lione Claudiana 2010 A scelta solo per gli studenti non frequentanti

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.
Topics required in order to pass the examination are the following: the historical figure of Jesus; development of the Jesus movement and the birth of Christianity; the birth and consolidation of the episcopates; monasticism (from its origins to the late Middle Ages); Christianity from the end of the empire to the Romano-barbarian kingdoms; the papacy and ecclesiastical institutions (XI –XIV centuries); the religion of lay men and lay women; the mendicant orders and religiones novae.