00939 - History of Canon Law

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course of History of Canon Law aims at making students well aware of the long journey covered by the Church juridical order from its origins up to the code of 1917 in a continuous dialogue with the secular law. The profound knowledge of this development, which is fundamental for the European law, will enable students to get new interpretations, both from a cultural and methodological perspective. The various phases of the history of canon law will be examined from a hermeneutic criterion according to which a better understanding of the past can be gained through the study of the problems of our age and the question about our future. All the more so in the area the ius Ecclesiae, apparently immutable because based on an unchangeable divine law, but actually urged by continuous new tensions and dynamics.

Course contents

The contents of the course are the following, arranged by theme:

I. The first Millennium of formation: the encounter with Roman law

- Introduction: the concept of history of Canon law and the relations with other historical sciences.

- The origins: Christians and Jews, Christians and the Roman Empire, the expansions of Christianity.

- The beginning of the Church legal system: the canon sources, in particular the procedure council and law and the pontifical decrees; the side contributions, in particular the Patristic and the Roman law. The first canon-liturgical collections. A new society leads out: ordines fidelium, local organization, Episcopal collegiality and hierarchical system.

- An outline of the Eastern Church and its collections.

- Origin and development of the pope's primacy in the western world.

II. The first Millennium of formation: the encounter with Germanism

- Development of the “national Churches” and the breaking of regulation. The Church in the barbarian kingdoms: splendor and dangers of the alliance.

- The Irish monasticism and the Libri poenitentiales.

- The penetration of “Germanism” into ecclesiastical institutions.

- The Carolingian age and the false canonical collections. The collections of the post-Carolingian and imperial reformation.

III. The golden age of Canon law

- The Gregorian Reform and the fight for investitures. The Dictatus Papae. The choice of a Pope and his powers: the Pope's plenitudo potestatis.

- The creative sources of law in the classical age: the pontifical legislation, the council legislation, the synodal legislation, the Customary law.

- The importance of Bologna in the study of canon law. Law and theology at the age of Gratiano. The Concordia discordantium canonum. The decretists and the roman law. The pope's ius novum and the first decretalistica. The creation of the Corpus Iuris Canonici.

- The classical doctrine: types, methods, schools and teachers. The medieval universities.

- The medieval councils and the other forms of synodality.

- From sacramental to corporative ecclesiology.

- The crisis of the pope's monarchy and the conciliaristic hypothesis.

IV. The Tridentine law

- The Lutheran contestation of the canon order.

- The Council of Trent: the Tridentine law and the pastoral reformation. The relations with secular power.

- The “reform” of roman curia and the production of ius pontificium.

- Methods and canonist schools in 1600s -1700s.

- The state integration of the Churches and ecclesiastic law.

- Canonist repercussions of Gallicanism, Jansenism and Jurisdictionalism.

V. The Pio-Benedictine Code

- The ecclesiology of Restoration and the ius publicum ecclesiasticum. The Church and the States: agreements and breaches. Towards the 1917 codifications: the Church constitutional order in the Vatican Council I. The problem of canonical codification. The marking process of Codex Iuris Canonici.

This year, an in-depth study will be dedicated to the responses provided by Canon law to epidemics over the centuries, in order to compare them to the provisions laid down by ecclesiastical authorities in 2020 in the face of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For the integration of 1, 2, 3, credits, the student must contact the teacher by e-mail to decide a custom program.

Erasmus students must contact the teacher by e-mail to agree a custom program.

Readings/Bibliography

All the students have to prepare for the exam on the following texts:

C. FANTAPPIÈ, Storia del diritto canonico e delle istituzioni della Chiesa, il Mulino, Bologna, 2011, pp. 369.

In addition, students have to choose one of the following alternatives for the special part:

G. BONI, A. ZANOTTI, La Chiesa tra nuovo paganesimo e oblio. Un ritorno alle origini per il diritto canonico del terzo millennio?, G. Giappichelli Editore, Torino, 2012, pp. XIV-198.

G. DALLA TORRE, G. BONI, Conoscere il diritto canonico, Edizioni Studium, Roma, reprint, 2009, pp. VIII-204.

In the course of her lessons, Professor Geraldina Boni will supply and recommend teaching aids and further learning material, following students' specific requests and interests. The materials will be gradually uploaded on the teacher’s web page and made available to the students.

Teaching methods

The course will develop through lectures, seminars and meetings with experts.

Due to the emergency situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all teaching activities of the Department of Legal Studies scheduled in the Fall Semester will be organized according to the models described here: https://dsg.unibo.it/en/teaching/projects-and-teaching-methodologies/teaching-modes-at-dsg-on-i-semester-a-y-2020-2021

Lectures will be given in the I st semester. As a consequence, students obtaining their attendance certificate in the current academic year are allowed to take their exam only from January.

Students will be informed about dates and times of the seminars  and the meetings with the experts during the lectures or through notices, also on the Faculty web site. The teacher uses slides (or other supplementary material) that will be made available to students on the Virtuale (Virtual Learning Environment) platform.

The students who attend the course will be invited to take part actively in the analysis of the themes studied in class: they will also be given the opportunity to prepare – with the assistance of the teacher – a paper about specific issues they’re particularly interested in, which will be evaluated during the final exam and will concur to the overall assessment.

A service of teaching tutorship is provided to students who need clarification about the content of the course and the exam. Students who want to ask for its operating modes have to contact the teacher by e-mail in order to receive communications.

Assessment methods

Only the student who has already taken the exams of Constitutional law and Private law is admitted to the oral exam.

The verification of learning consists in a final exam which will explore the acquisition of knowledge and skills requested trough an oral examination sustained directly with the professor.

The exam will cover the issues described in the “Course contents” section. The examination entails the assignment of a grade.

In this way the student will be able to show not only the learned knowledge, but also the critical and methodological capacities gained.

In the same time he will have to demonstrate to have some specific abilities. First of all, the possession of a mastery of expression and an appropriate technical language. The second one is the ability to move in safety within the system of the sources of this matter. The student moreover must have a clear perception of the information received and, finally, he must have properly understood the issues addressed in class and elucidated in the textbooks of reference. Learning such skills is easier during the course, the attendance of which is recommended in order to improve the learning process and therefore the student’s performance during the exam.

Namely, about the oral exam:

 As previously mentioned, the aim of the oral exam is to assess the actual achievement of the learning outcomes: therefore, both the knowledge of the relevant legal issues and the student’s capability to apply it in order to realize the required logical-deductive connections will be taken into account.

By way of a mere example, the assignment of the final grade will be based on the following criteria:

Sufficient knowledge of a very small number of the topics addressed during the course and analytical skills that only emerge through extensive support by the interviewer, with the use of a language that is not incorrect but is not completely accurate either → 18-19;

Fairly good knowledge of a limited number of the topics addressed during the course and analytical skills that are autonomous only on purely executive issues, with the use of a correct but not fully confident and exhaustive language → 20-24;

Good knowledge of a wide number of the topics addressed during the course and capability to develop autonomous analytical skills, with an efficient and confident use of a technically specific language → 25-29;

Extensive and substantially exhaustive knowledge of the whole program addressed during the course, capability to develop very good legal reasonings and to critically analyse and connect different topics, with a fully confident use of a technically specific language that shows a mature ability to develop original reflections → 30-30L.

The students who attend the course will also be given the opportunity to prepare – with the assistance of the teacher – a paper about specific issues they’re particularly interested in, which will be evaluated during the final exam and will concur to the overall assessment.

Students who need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures: the same also applies with regard to the final exam.

Students have to book the final exam on the web application AlmaEsami.

Thesis

For the assignment of thesis the student must go to the reception of the teacher to discuss and decide the theme.

Teaching tools

During the lessons, Professor Geraldina Boni will supply and recommend teaching aids and further learning material, according to students' specific requests and interests.

Students will be informed about dates and times of the seminars and the meetings with experts during the lectures and through notices on the Faculty website.

The teacher uses slides that will be made available to students on the Virtuale (Virtual Learning Environment) platform in order to help them understanding the issues and the institutions explained during the lesson.

Students who need compensatory tools for reasons of disability or Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) will communicate to the teacher their needs so as to be directed to the dedicated person and arrange on the adoption of the most appropriate measures.

The collaborators of the Chair and the Professor will receive the students on the same day.

A service of teaching tutorship is provided to students who need clarification about the content of the course and the exam. Students who want to ask for its operating modes have to contact the teacher by e-mail in order to receive communications.

Suggested readings:

J. GAUDEMET, Storia del diritto canonico. Ecclesia et Civitas, Edizioni San Paolo, Cinisello Balsamo (Milano), 1998, pp. 810.

J. GAUDEMET, Il matrimonio in Occidente, Società Editrice Internazionale, Torino, 1989, pp. 434.

G. DALLA TORRE, Santità e diritto. Sondaggi nella storia del diritto canonico, Second edition, G. Giappichelli Editore, Torino, 2008, pp. X-210.

G. BONI - A. ZANOTTI, Sangue e diritto nella Chiesa. Contributo ad una lettura dell'Occidente cristiano, il Mulino, Bologna, 2009, pp. 351.

G. BONI, La canonizzazione dei santi combattenti nella storia della Chiesa, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 2012, pp. 177.

Office hours

See the website of Geraldina Boni