Philosophy of Religion (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Carlo Chiurco
Carlo Chiurco
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1B dal Nov 9, 2020 al Jan 9, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

Few activities like religion, and the sacred in general, are capable to make the whole of human experience fully significant, and to utterly permeate it. At the end of the course, students will possess an increased knowledge of Western (and, in some cases, also extra-European) philosophical thought and its main conceptual lines, in particular of contemporary philosophical debates on the sacred. The course aims to develop the following skills:
- ability to understand philosophical texts, and to approach them from a proper hermeneutical perspective;
- ability to use an appropriate philosophical terminology;
- ability to autonomously make assessments on the genesis, nature and meaning of the topics analyzed in classes;
- ability to compare peculiar aspects of the thought of the past with themes and / or authors of our time;
- ability to communicate philosophical topics with specialists and non-specialists alike;
- ability to to continue their studies at a MA level.


Every living being is potentially immortal, capable as it is to replicate itself indefinitely by substituting its dead cells with new ones. Yet, at a given time, every living being ceases to do so, actually allowing self-annihilation to fatally take over itself. Men have always lived and died, believing death were just a passage; but when Greeks discovered that the meaning of being is an infinite opposition against nothing, they also discovered a new sense of death—as annihilation, and not as a passage anymore. On the Greek sense of being and nothing Plato founds his Republic, just as Augustine builds his theology, according to which God creates everything from pure nothing. Today, in the age of God’s death, technics impose its presence as the capacity to indefinitely manipulate everything. Between these two extremes lays the entire history of Western civilization: God is the first technician, technics is the last god. Provided, of course, that everything has already been said on the meaning of being: if not, this could reopen all games about annihilation as the last word and the fate of everything and everyone.

Classes will be held physically and/or, in case of protracted emergency, virtually using the tools provided by the university. They consist of reading and discussing texts of different authors and periods (such activities may also include the usage of slides), and also movie projections. In this way, students may grasp the various conceptions and subjects dealt with during the course, as well as a critically based approach to the texts of the course that takes into account a proper historical and hermeneutical background.
Students who cannot attend classes will follow the same program as outlined above.
Beside reading the course texts, students are required to listen to the audio files of the classes found on the university e-learning website.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Alex Garland Annientamento (film) 2018
Emanuele Severino Essenza del nichilismo Adelphi 1991 Il capitolo "La terra e l'essenza dell'uomo". Va bene qualunque edizione purché Adelphi (quindi non la prima: Paideia, Brescia 1972).
F. Nietzsche La gaia scienza Adelphi 1993 Aforismi scelti. Va bene qualsiasi edizione, purché Adelphi.
Platone La Repubblica (Edizione 16) Laterza 2007 88-420-4544-6 Libro V. Va bene qualunque altra edizione.
Severino, Emanuele Oltre il linguaggio Adelphi 1992
Martin Heidegger Sentieri interrotti 1987 Il capitolo "La sentenza di Nietzsche: 'Dio è morto' ". Va bene qualsiasi edizione (1987, 1994, ecc.).

Assessment methods and criteria

The final examination tests is aimed at ascertaining that students meet the course targets as outlined above. It consists of an oral examination that may be held physically and/or, in case of protracted emergency, virtually using the tools provided by the university.