History of Religions (i) SC (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giulia Pedrucci
Giulia Pedrucci
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem 2A dal Feb 17, 2020 al Mar 28, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The teaching activities are aimed at improving the knowledge of several important topics concerning the relationship between religion and society. First of all, the terminology defining different aspects of religion and cults will be clarified. Then an analysis of documents concerning behaviours, beliefs, and doctrines in religions will be carried out and also interrelationships between different cults or religions in both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective will be taken into account.
Students will be encouraged to approach with a critical method different aspects of religion and opinions expressed by different societies concerning them. For this purpose, students will study a series of texts and documents describing rituals and beliefs.
The studied documents will mostly refer to the European societies from antiquity to the Modern Age and therefore students will obtain a diachronic view of phenomena and will evaluate the different ways of dealing with important religious phenomena in time and among different cultures. Students should be enabled to evaluate autonomously the documents taken into account and to deem their historical reliability.
Students should improve their communication skill by expressing their opinions on questions which the course raises and by receiving directions and answers from the teachers about how to shape their presentation. Their learning skill should be improved, as well, thanks to an interaction between a critical reading of texts and the study of related iconographies.
At the end of the course, students should be able to understand the most important problems discussed in the classes, to analyze in a critical way the discussed texts and iconographies, to distinguish facts from opinions, and to present their arguments according to a logical sequence, clearly, and on the basis of documents.


The course is divided into two parts. The first on the key-tenets of discipline, the second on mystic cults in the Greek and Roman worlds.
The teaching consists of frontal lessons on the topics described above; it is based on a series of powerpoints with archaeological images and texts. Powerpoints will be in the English language. The material will be uploaded online. The powerpoints, texts, and recordings of the lessons will be available in E-Learning at the end of the course. Students who cannot attend one or more lessons can prepare for the exam through the recorded lessons and the images that will be available on the E-learning website of the University of Verona. Non-attending students are however invited to contact me.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Walter Burkert Antichi culti misterici Laterza 1992
Giulia Sfameni Gasparro Introduzione alla storia delle religioni Laterza 2011

Assessment methods and criteria

Assessment procedure: Questions will be posed in order to ascertain what learning and knowing level is reached. Eventually, questions could go further in deep by focussing on texts and/or monuments discussed during the course.