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CODE 108638
ACADEMIC YEAR 2024/2025
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-STO/07
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

This course aims to provide students with the critical tools to orient themselves in the study of the history of modern and contemporary Catholicism (from the 18th-century revolutions to the present day), also dealing with a monographic theme. The perspective adopted focuses on the articulations assumed by Catholic culture, on a European, North American and global scale, in relation to the processes characterising the multi-faceted phenomenon of modernity: the secularisation of public space; the secularisation of society; the sacralisation of politics; the formation of national states; the development of industrial capitalism with its unprecedented means of communication; the rise of mass politics and its ideologies; the conflict between the autonomy of scientific knowledge and religious tradition; the globalisation of religions.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The objective of this course is for students to demonstrate mastery of the themes and methods of contemporary Catholic Church history, with a focus on religious cultures as meaning systems capable of feeding rhetoric, ideological schemes, symbolic forms, cults, liturgies, and social practices with inextricable political value. The goal is to become acquainted with the historical-religious specialist lexicon; to orient oneself with regard to the international historiographical debate on the history of Catholicism in the age of secularization; and to develop appropriate techniques of reading and critical interpretation of sources for the history of the Church through seminars or written reports.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

AIMS

The teaching aims to:

- convey knowledge of the main historiographical issues related to modern and contemporary Roman Catholicism, with a focus on the international scientific debate;

- identify the specificities of modern and contemporary Catholicism through a critical awareness of its articulations and its various levels of governance/responsibility;

- bring out the distinctive approach of religious history, focusing on the cultural and political history of modern and contemporary Catholicism;

- apply the understanding of the themes, methods and sources of the history of Catholicism in the age of secularisation to a specific monographic topic;

- make students practise the analysis and interpretation of primary sources for the history of churches and religious cultures (press, documents, images, audio-visual sources).

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

At the end of the course, students should:

a) know and be able to argue with appropriate language the problems and questions of method pertaining to the religious history of the modern and contemporary age, adequately illustrating the themes of the historiographical debate on Church, politics and society from the 18th to the 21st century.

b) know how to reorganise these notions and categories by applying them to the analysis of the documents presented in class and linking them to the reference bibliography.

c) be able to manage one's social interactions with a collaborative attitude, constructive communication and willingness to overcome prejudices (social competence - advanced level);

d) show decision-making autonomy, collaborative attitude and the ability to understand and find synthesis between different points of view (project management competence - basic level).

PREREQUISITES

A basic knowledge of the history of Christianity and churches is required.

TEACHING METHODS

Teaching will mainly consist of lectures, although discussion sessions, reading of texts and analysis of iconographic sources will be included. Dialogue with the teacher and other students is a fundamental part of the teaching method and aims to promote a critical approach, consolidate knowledge and acquire the language of the discipline. Regular attendance is therefore recommended.

During the course, working groups may be organised to analyse and comment on a range of sources, based on the knowledge and methodologies acquired in class. Each group may briefly present to the others the result of the discussion, conceived as a concise critical introduction to the analysed source.

The lectures will be held in person. Only those who make an explicit request at the beginning of the course will be able to follow the lectures at a distance. The latter will be considered non-attending students for all purposes (also for the purposes of the syllabus).

All information and teaching materials will be available on Aulaweb.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

The course aims at identifying the original features of Roman Catholicism from the 18th to the 21st century, adopting as its field of study the relations between religious cultures, the political dimension and the social order. The analysis of Catholic discourse and religious practices will be carried out following some main threads: the dialectic between the Roman centre and the peripheries; the links between persistence and renewal thrusts; the comparison between the ideology of Christianity and the outcomes of the political and capitalist "dual revolution", among which the hegemony of nationalism (also in its totalitarian developments); the massification of society; the rise of cultural industry and the "consumption of faith"; the emergence of a Catholic public opinion, in a play of scale between local, national and global levels.

The teaching is divided into two parts.

1. The first section (10 hours) deals with the main methodological and interpretative issues related to the current historiographical debate. After setting out the specific approach of "religious history", and its difference from the traditional view of Church history, this first section of lectures will explain how the "new political history" has changed the critical view on modern and contemporary Catholicism, and how the "new political history of Christianity" differs from the history of political Catholicism. In this regard, a number of concepts at the centre of the debate will be problematised, i.e.: modernity/modernisation; secularisation; religious revival; popular religion; intransigentism; sacralisation of politics/politicisation of religion; political cult.

2. The second section (30 hours) deepens the monographic topic Modernity and political cults, enhancing the plurality of readings offered by historical semantics and historiographical contributions. The aim is to deconstruct the standard interpretation based on a paradigm of secularisation that has categorised 'political religion' as a modern phenomenon of translation of the sacred from the transcendent sphere to the intramundane one. From this approach stems the thesis of the politicisation or political use of devotions, cults and liturgy as a mimetic-oppositional reaction to the secular sacralisation of politics. The interpretative effectiveness and heuristic force of this scheme will be emphasised, but also its unspoken assumptions and more controversial elements, including: 

- the idea of a clear boundary between public and private, politics and faith, inscribed in the liberal-democratic ideal of modernity understood as the progressive expansion of the rights and self-determination of the individual;

- the implicit vision of a core of Catholicism that is "other" and separate from politics (and, if anything, "contaminated" by it), as if an intrinsic politicity of Roman Catholicism itself, characterised by an autonomous tradition of sacralisation of the saeculum, should not be recognised in the short and long term;

- the univocal insistence on the anti-modern characterisation of 19th- and 20th-century cults and devotions (a thesis that risks obscuring the active role of the religious revival, and of the post-revolutionary and counter-revolutionary New Catholicism, in the genesis of 19th- and 20th-century modernity).

Through some exemplary case studies (the devotion to the pope and the cult of papacy; the Marian cult; the cult of the Sacred Heart; "war religion"; the promotion of national patron saints), these lectures will analyse the politicisation of piety and liturgy as a factor of symbolic integration and an element of an ambivalent modernity, marked by mass politics, capitalist processes of mediatisation (print capitalism and mass media), urbanisation and globalisation. Within this context, attention will be paid to the political-religious dimension of gender and the thesis of the femminisation of faith.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Assignments for ATTENDING students

 

A. Articles and book chapters (required):

  • A. Becker, Chiese e fervori religiosi, in S. Audoin-Rouzeau - J-J. Becker (eds.), La prima guerra mondiale, Italian edition edited by A. Gibelli, vol. II, Torino, Einaudi, 2007, pp. 113-123.
  • C. Clark, The New Catholicism and the European Culture Wars, in C. Clark - W. Kaiser (eds.), Culture Wars. Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth Century Europe, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 11-46.
  • D. Menozzi, La politicizzazione della devozione, in G. Filoramo - D. Menozzi (eds.), Storia del cristianesimo, vol. IV, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1997, pp. 159-166.
  • R. Moro, Religion and Politics in the Time of Secularisation: The Sacralisation of Politics and Politicisation of Religion, «Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions», VI, 1, 2005, pp. 71-86.
  • M. Paiano, Devozioni e politica: dai santuari alle Madonne pellegrine, in T. Caliò - D. Menozzi (eds.), L'Italia e i Santi. Agiografie, riti e devozioni nella costruzione dell'identità nazionale, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 2017, pp. 295-321.
  • R. Rusconi, Devozione per il pontefice e culto per il papato al tempo di Pio IX e di Leone XIII nelle pagine di «La Civiltà cattolica», «Rivista di storia del cristianesimo», II, 1, 2005, pp. 9-37.
  • T. Van Osselaer, Marian Piety and Gender: Marian Devotion and the ‘Feminization’ of Religion, in C. Maunder (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Mary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 579–591.
  • V. Viaene, International History, Religious History, Catholic history: Perspectives for Cross-Fertilization (1830-1914)​, «European History Quarterly», XXXVIII, 4, 2008, pp. 578-607.

 

B. Course materials, slides e texts shared on Aulaweb.

 

C. One book/group of essays from the following ones:

  1. A. Appelbaum, St. Francis of America. How a Thirteenth-Century Friar Became America’s Most Popular Saint, Chapel Hill (NC), The University of North Carolina Press,  2015.
  2. T. Caliò, Una terra di martiri. Narrazioni agiografiche e industria culturale nell'Italia contemporanea, Roma, Viella, 2022.
  3. M. Caponi, Una Chiesa in guerra. Sacrificio e mobilitazione nella diocesi di Firenze 1911-1928, Roma, Viella, 2018.
  4. L. Ceci (ed.), Culti di fine millennio. Devozioni di massa e modernità nell’universo cattolico, «Memoria e ricerca», XXIV, 3, 2016, pp. 371-491; M. Caponi (ed.), Santi patroni: politica, religione, identità nell’Europa del secondo Novecento, sezione monografica di «Rivista di Storia del Cristianesimo», XIV, 2, 2017,  pp. 243-362.
  5. A. Di Marco, Lourdes. Storie di miracoli. Genesi e sviluppo di una devozione planetaria, Firenze, Firenze University Press, 2016.
  6. S.K. Kaufman, Consuming Visions. Mass Culture and the Lourdes Shrine, Ithaca (NY), Cornell University Press, 2005.
  7. G. Krumeich, Jeanne d'Arc à travers l'histoire, Paris, Belin, 2017.
  8. S. Lesti, Riti di guerra. Religione e politica nell'Europa della Grande Guerra, Bologna, il Mulino, 2015.
  9. S. Lesti, Il mito delle radici cristiane dell'Europa. Dalla Rivoluzione francese ai giorni nostri, Torino, Einaudi, 2024.
  10. S. Luzzatto, Padre Pio. Miracoli e politica nell'Italia del Novecento, Torino, Einaudi, 2009.
  11. D. Menozzi, Sacro Cuore. Un culto tra devozione interiore e restaurazione cristiana della società, Roma, Viella, 2001.
  12. D. Menozzi, Il potere delle devozioni. Pietà popolare e uso politico dei culti in età contemporanea, Roma, Carocci, 2022; D. Menozzi - R. Rusconi (eds.), Contro la secolarizzazione. La promozione dei culti tra Pio IX e Leone XIII, sezione monografica di «Rivista di storia del cristianesimo», II, 1, 2005, pp. 3-131.
  13. D. Menozzi, Tra mito della nazionalità e mito della cristianità. Immagini di san Francesco dai "lumi" a Pio XII, Spoleto, Fondazione CISAM, 2022.
  14. M.E. Omes, La festa di Napoleone. Sovranità, legittimità e sacralità nell'Europa napoleonica, 1799-1815, Roma, Viella, 2023.
  15. M. O’Sullivan, Disruptive Power. Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2018.
  16. M. Paiano, Liturgia e società nel Novecento. Percorsi del movimento liturgico di fronte ai processi di secolarizzazione, Roma, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2000.
  17. M. Paiano, La preghiera e la Grande Guerra. Benedetto XV e la nazionalizzazione del culto in Italia, Pisa, Pacini, 2017.
  18. K. Sprows Cummings, A Saint of Our Own. How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American, Chapel Hill (NC), The University of North Carolina Press,​ 2019.
  19. I. Veca, Il mito di Pio IX. Storia di un papa liberale e nazionale, Roma, Viella, 2018.
  20. R. Wittman, Ricostruire la Chiesa. San Paolo fuori le mura nella Roma dell'Ottocento, Roma, Viella, 2023.

 

 

Assignments for NOT ATTENDING students

 

A. Articles and book chapters (required):

  • A. Becker, Chiese e fervori religiosi, in S. Audoin-Rouzeau - J-J. Becker (eds.), La prima guerra mondiale, Italian edition edited by A. Gibelli, vol. II, Torino, Einaudi, 2007, pp. 113-123.
  • C. Clark, The New Catholicism and the European Culture Wars, in C. Clark - W. Kaiser (eds.), Culture Wars. Secular-Catholic Conflict in Nineteenth Century Europe, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 11-46.
  • D. Menozzi, La politicizzazione della devozione, in G. Filoramo - D. Menozzi (eds.), Storia del cristianesimo, vol. IV, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1997, pp. 159-166.
  • R. Moro, Religion and Politics in the Time of Secularisation: The Sacralisation of Politics and Politicisation of Religion, «Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions», VI, 1, 2005, pp. 71-86.
  • M. Paiano, Devozioni e politica: dai santuari alle Madonne pellegrine, in T. Caliò - D. Menozzi (eds.), L'Italia e i Santi. Agiografie, riti e devozioni nella costruzione dell'identità nazionale, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 2017, pp. 295-321.
  • R. Rusconi, Devozione per il pontefice e culto per il papato al tempo di Pio IX e di Leone XIII nelle pagine di «La Civiltà cattolica», «Rivista di storia del cristianesimo», II, 1, 2005, pp. 9-37.
  • T. Van Osselaer, Marian Piety and Gender: Marian Devotion and the ‘Feminization’ of Religion, in C. Maunder (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Mary, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019, pp. 579–591.
  • V. Viaene, International History, Religious History, Catholic history: Perspectives for Cross-Fertilization (1830-1914)​, «European History Quarterly», XXXVIII, 4, 2008, pp. 578-607.

 

B. Reference textbook:

  • D. Menozzi, Storia della Chiesa, vol. IV: L'età contemporanea, Bologna, EDB, 2019.

 

C. One book/group of essays from the following ones:

  1. A. Appelbaum, St. Francis of America. How a Thirteenth-Century Friar Became America’s Most Popular Saint, Chapel Hill (NC), The University of North Carolina Press,  2015.
  2. T. Caliò, Una terra di martiri. Narrazioni agiografiche e industria culturale nell'Italia contemporanea, Roma, Viella, 2022.
  3. M. Caponi, Una Chiesa in guerra. Sacrificio e mobilitazione nella diocesi di Firenze 1911-1928, Roma, Viella, 2018.
  4. L. Ceci (ed.), Culti di fine millennio. Devozioni di massa e modernità nell’universo cattolico, «Memoria e ricerca», XXIV, 3, 2016, pp. 371-491; M. Caponi (ed.), Santi patroni: politica, religione, identità nell’Europa del secondo Novecento, sezione monografica di «Rivista di Storia del Cristianesimo», XIV, 2, 2017,  pp. 243-362.
  5. A. Di Marco, Lourdes. Storie di miracoli. Genesi e sviluppo di una devozione planetaria, Firenze, Firenze University Press, 2016.
  6. S.K. Kaufman, Consuming Visions. Mass Culture and the Lourdes Shrine, Ithaca (NY), Cornell University Press, 2005.
  7. G. Krumeich, Jeanne d'Arc à travers l'histoire, Paris, Belin, 2017.
  8. S. Lesti, Riti di guerra. Religione e politica nell'Europa della Grande Guerra, Bologna, il Mulino, 2015.
  9. S. Lesti, Il mito delle radici cristiane dell'Europa. Dalla Rivoluzione francese ai giorni nostri, Torino, Einaudi, 2024.
  10. S. Luzzatto, Padre Pio. Miracoli e politica nell'Italia del Novecento, Torino, Einaudi, 2009.
  11. D. Menozzi, Sacro Cuore. Un culto tra devozione interiore e restaurazione cristiana della società, Roma, Viella, 2001.
  12. D. Menozzi, Il potere delle devozioni. Pietà popolare e uso politico dei culti in età contemporanea, Roma, Carocci, 2022; D. Menozzi - R. Rusconi (eds.), Contro la secolarizzazione. La promozione dei culti tra Pio IX e Leone XIII, sezione monografica di «Rivista di storia del cristianesimo», II, 1, 2005, pp. 3-131.
  13. D. Menozzi, Tra mito della nazionalità e mito della cristianità. Immagini di san Francesco dai "lumi" a Pio XII, Spoleto, Fondazione CISAM, 2022.
  14. M.E. Omes, La festa di Napoleone. Sovranità, legittimità e sacralità nell'Europa napoleonica, 1799-1815, Roma, Viella, 2023.
  15. M. O’Sullivan, Disruptive Power. Catholic Women, Miracles, and Politics in Modern Germany, 1918-1965, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2018.
  16. M. Paiano, Liturgia e società nel Novecento. Percorsi del movimento liturgico di fronte ai processi di secolarizzazione, Roma, Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 2000.
  17. M. Paiano, La preghiera e la Grande Guerra. Benedetto XV e la nazionalizzazione del culto in Italia, Pisa, Pacini, 2017.
  18. K. Sprows Cummings, A Saint of Our Own. How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American, Chapel Hill (NC), The University of North Carolina Press,​ 2019.
  19. I. Veca, Il mito di Pio IX. Storia di un papa liberale e nazionale, Roma, Viella, 2018.
  20. R. Wittman, Ricostruire la Chiesa. San Paolo fuori le mura nella Roma dell'Ottocento, Roma, Viella, 2023.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

LESSONS

LESSONS START

February 2025.

Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Non-attending students: oral exam only.

Attending students may replace part of the assignments (SECTIONS A and C) with a written paper of 15,000 - 20,000 characters. this paper, the subject of which must be agreed upon with the teacher, is expected to be a critical note on a book or group of essays from section C, demonstrating the capability to make historiographical connections with the texts from section A.

 

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Students with Disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders (DSAs)

Students with disabilities or DSAs are reminded that, in order to request adjustments in the exam’s assignments, they must first enter their certification on the University website at servizionline.unige.it in the ‘Students’ section. The documentation will be verified by the Office for the inclusion of students with disabilities and with DSAs (https://rubrica.unige.it/strutture/struttura/100111).

Next, well in advance (at least 10 days) of the examination date, an e-mail must be sent to the teacher, including the School of Humanities Contact Person for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities and DSAs (elisabetta.colagrossi@unige.it) as well as the above-mentioned office. The e-mail must specify:

  • the name of the course;
  • the date of the exam;
  • the student's surname, first name and matriculation number;
  • the compensatory tools and exemptions considered functional and required.

The contact person will confirm to the teacher that the applicant has the right to request adaptations to the examination assignments and that such adaptations must be agreed with the teacher. This will respond indicating whether the requested adaptations can be used.

All requests must be sent at least 10 days before the exam date to allow the teacher to assess their content. In particular, if you plan to use concept maps during the exam (which must be much more concise than those used in studying for the exam), please consider that there will be no time to make changes if they are not sent in time.

Further information on the request for services and adaptations can be found at: https://unige.it/sites/unige.it/files/2024-05/Linee%20guida%20per%20la%20richiesta%20di%20servizi%2C%20di%20strumenti%20compensativi%20e_o%20di%20misure%20dispensative%20e%20di%20ausili%20specifici%20Maggio%202024.pdf

ASSESSMENT METHODS

The written paper and the oral exam allow the skills acquired to be rated.

The skills developed both with respect to the historiography of Roman Catholicism in the modern and contemporary age and to the specific monographic theme of the course will be assessed. The achievement of the training objectives will be assessed on the basis of the following elements: a) mastery of the topics dealt with; b) degree of critical awareness; c) ability to apply knowledge to a specific topic; d) use of the specialised language of the discipline.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Reduce inequality
Reduce inequality
Peace, justice and strong institutions
Peace, justice and strong institutions

OpenBadge

 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Gestione progettuale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Gestione progettuale base 1 - A