13753 - History of Religions (1)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the religious phenomena within the light of historical comparative method and to be able to identify their characteristics and typologies. In particular, students will obtain knowledge of the antiquity and late antiquity contexts where various religions co-existed. Students will be able to address problems related to religious history according to the most updated methodologies in order to highlight connections, developments, transformations and will be able to critically analyze historical documents and historical authors, relating them to the different historical and cultural contexts.

Course contents


Is human nature linked to God?

The question of the identity of man in the contemporary age seems inescapable , yet even when it is not clearly expressed it requires a position of openness that understands and values the importance of past events on the present.

Students will analyse texts from the first century B.C to the 3rd century A.D within Jewish-Hellenistic , Roman and Greek philosophers and Christian contexts.




a) U. Bianchi, The definition of religion: on the metodology of historical-comparative research, Leiden1972

M. Eliade, The sacred and the profan: the nature of religion, New York 1961

b) R. Alston, Aspects of Roman History 31 BC-AD117, London-New York 2014, Chap. 1-4, 16.

c) Contributi  dal volume Dal logos dei Greci e dei Romani al Logos di Dio. Ricordando Marta Sordi, a cura di R. Radice e A. Valvo, Milano 2011 e dal volume Il Logos di Dio e il logos dell'uomo. Concezioni antropologiche nel mondo antico e riflessi contemporanei, a cura di A.M. Mazzanti concordati con la docente.

Teaching methods

The course, led by the Professor, will have input from other scholars for analysis and dialogue.

The students are invited to actively partecipate by presenting texts and articles at the end of the course in agreement with the Professor.

The Professor will be avaible to students, both during office hours, to explain any complicated arguments

Assessment methods

 The exam consists of an oral interview. An excellent grade is awarded to students who demonstrate a profound knowledge of the course arguments and a capacity for critical judgement. An average grade is awarded to students who understand the themes developed throughout the course and who are able to present and make connections between the various parts of the course. A sufficient grade is awarded to students who understand the fundamental elements assessed during the course. An insufficient grade is given to students who do not demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the course themes and who do not use terminology appropriate to the discipline

Office hours

See the website of Angela Maria Mazzanti