History of Religions (i) SC
Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
M-STO/06 - HISTORY OF RELIGIONS
Language of instruction
Semestrino IA, Semestrino IB
History of religions is not a religious discipline, but historical. It is an inductive research based on the investigation of original sources, therefore founded on philology and comparison. It uses the terms “religion” and “religious” for those facts that the historian, due to his own culture and background, considers to be so. Considering the events that he considered to be religious in his own culture, he learns to find analogies and make comparisons with other cultures. In this way he reaches an understanding of some “universals” of humans, which are however concrete, historical facts. These universals will derive from knowledge of ethnology and comparative-history: therefore religion is, in the last analysis, a human and historical universal.
About foundation and beginnings of History of religions in Italy, see :
Knowledge of religious problems in a wide historical and geographical perspective.
1. First part (institutional): The course proposes to give students an historical awareness of human religions and the methodological problems which have always been, and continue to be, connected to the discipline of History of religions.
2.Second part (monographical): The Religion of Aztec Mexico, between genocide and ethnocide.
1 First part (institutional):
A. Brelich, Introduzione alla Storia delle religioni, Edizioni dell'Ateneo,Roma 1966 and following editions.
P.A. Carozzi, Storia delle religioni. Metodi e contributi della “scuola italiana”, Chimera Editore, Milano 2008. Previous, out of print editions are no longer sufficient to prepare the exam.
2. Second part (monographical):
S. Botta, La Religione del Mesico antico, Carocci, Roma 2006.
M. Leon-Portilla, La memoria dei vinti, Silva, Milano 1962.
P. A. Carozzi, Rendere sensibile il divino. Le arti nelle religioni, Chimera Editore, Milano 2009.
It is requested that students have at least a basic knowledge of the sacred religious texts and of the significance and expression of religious rites and doctrines. Further reading lists will be given during the course.
Didactic Methods : frontal lessons and seminaries.