All readings will be made available by the professor on Moodle. The Prof.’s lectures as well as class discussion will be based on those readings.
1. Paper (2000 words) (30%) 2. Research outline presentation (10-15 mins) with a ppt (25%) 3. Oral Final Exam (30%) 4. Class participation (15%)
Two classes per week:
Thursday 15-17 and Friday 11-13
The course begins on Thursday, March 2, at 3pm
Part I: The Western World: Cultural-Historical Dynamics and Religion
• Course Intro: Culture, Society, and Religion
- M. C. Lemon, Philosophy of History: A Guide for Students, pp. 290-303 (“The What is History Debate”) - Alessandro Arcangeli, Cultural History: A Concise Introduction, pp. 1-17 (“In search of a definition”); pp. 30-48 (“Interwoven paths”)
• Popular Culture, Superstition, Religion
- Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe, pp. 3-22 (The Discovery of the People) - Aron Gurevich, Medieval Popular Culture: Problems of Belief and Perception, pp. 78-103 (Popular Culture in the Mirror of the Penitentials)
• Humanism and Christian Tradition
- Kenneth Bartelett, The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance, pp. XIX-XX; 1-8 (Introduction; Quintilian); pp. 25-34 (Petrarch: Introduction; Letter to Posterity; The Ascent of Mount Ventoux; Letter to the Shade of Cicero)
• The “Universal Man” of The Renaissance and Religious Traditions
- Bartelett, The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance, pp. 97-104 (Florentine Neoplatonism and Mysticism: Intro; Marsilio Ficino); pp. 104-108 (Giovanni Pico della Mirandola) - Leonardo da Vinci, Selections from the Notebooks, in The Italian Renaissance Reader, ed. by Bondanella and Musa, pp. 185-195
• Religion and Critical Thinking: Lorenzo Valla’s Reading of The Donation of Constantine
- Bartelett, The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance, pp. 206-210 (Lorenzo Valla: The Principal Arguments from the Forged Donation of Constantine) - The Donation of Constantine: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/donatconst.asp
• Geographical Explorations and Religion
- Cristopher Columbus, Journal of the First Voyage, paragraphs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 50-54: http://eada.lib.umd.edu/text-entries/journal/ - F. Rickey, “How Columbus Encountered America”
• Witchcraft: Beliefs and Practices
- Brian Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe, Ch. 2 (The Intellectual Foundations) - Charles Zika, Images of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe, in Levack, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America - Kors and Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700, pp. 176-228 (“The Hammer of Witches”) - Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, “Strix”, in Witchcraft in Europe, ed. by Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters, selected pp.
• Protestant and Catholic Reforms
- Lisa Jardine, Erasmus: Man of Letters, selected pp. - Martin Luther, Address to the Christian Nobility: https://history.hanover.edu/texts/luthad.html - Paolo Giustiniani and Pietro Querini, Booklet to Pope Leo X on the Reform of the Church, selected pp.
• Science, Theology, and Authority
- The Index of Forbidden Books: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/indexlibrorum.asp - Giordano Bruno, On the Infinite, the Universe, and the Worlds, selected pp. - Galileo Galilei's Indictment and Abjuration (1633): https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/1630galileo.asp
• Humanism, Religion, and Western Current Cultural Trends
- James Hankins, How Not to Defend the Humanities: https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/11/not-defend-humanities/ - Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, selected pp.
Part II: Religions in Global Perspective
• Indigenous & Ancient Religions
- Nancy C Ring, Introduction to the Study of Religion, Ch. 2
- Duncan S. Ferguson, Exploring the Spirituality of the World Religions, Part II, selected pp.
• The Axial Age: A Cultural/Religious Revolution?
- Jan Assmann, The Price of Monotheism, Ch. 2 ("Monotheism: A Counterreligion to What?")
• Indic and Chinese Religions
- Ring, Introduction to the Study of Religion, Ch. 3 and Ch. 5
• Judaism, Christianity, Islam
- Ring, Introduction to the Study of Religion, Ch. 6 and Ch. 7
• Christianity and Christianization
- Van Engen, John, “The Christian Middle Ages as a Historiographical Problem”, The American Historical Review Vol. 91, No. 3 (Jun., 1986): 519-552
• Religious Change and Interreligious Dialogue
- Ring, Introduction to the Study of Religion, Ch. 9 and Ch. 11
• Mysticism and Monasticism
- Thomas Merton, A Course in Christian Mysticism, selected pp.