Hystory of Christianity and of the Churches (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mariaclara Rossi
Mariaclara Rossi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A dal Sep 23, 2019 al Oct 31, 2019.

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 specialized bibliography, in addition to the manual.


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.
- G.G. Merlo, Eretici ed eresie medievali, Bologna 2011.
- M. Pellegrini, Vescovo e città. Una relzione nel medioevo italiano (secoli II-XIV), Milano 2009.
- G.G. Merlo, Valdo. L’eretico di Lione, Claudiana, Torino 2010.
- A. Galdi, Benedetto, Il Mulino, Bologna 2016.
- A. Valerio, Maria di Nazaret. Storia, dogmi, tradizioni, Bologna 2017.

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.
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
Amalia Galdi Benedetto Il Mulino 2016
Grado Giovanni Merlo Frate Francesco Il Mulino 2013
Adriana Valerio Maria di Nazaret. Storia, dogmi, tradizioni. Il Mulino 2017
Emanuela Prinzivalli Storia del cristianesimo. 1. L'età antica Carocci 2015
Marina Benedetti Storia del cristianesimo. 2. L'età medievale Carocci 2015
Grado Giovanni Merlo Valdo. L'eretico di Lione Claudiana 2010
Michele Pellegrini Vescovo e città. Una relazione nel Medioevo italiano (secoli II-XIV) 2009

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.