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Educational aims

Specific educational objectives In the context of global interdependence characterising our world, the imbalances, and inequalities of a cultural, political, social and economic nature among the different regions of the planet are worsening. At the same time, the adherence to religious beliefs, even if not necessarily to the relevant institutions, is increasing, in contrast with the narrative of an increasingly secularized world. Starting from this assumption, the Degree Course aims at providing its students the keys to understanding current religious phenomena through the analysis of the methodologies, history, hermeneutics and cultural representations of the three great monotheistic religions. In support of this objective, the understanding of historical-religious phenomena and cultural transformations will make use of historical investigation tools to grasp the salient aspects of the evolution of religious history, with particular reference to the Mediterranean and near-eastern area, from ancient times to date. The city of Palermo, repeatedly invoked as the "capital of the Mediterranean" and of an island which is the crossroads of religions and cultures, now in conflict, now peacefully living together, is very well suited as the ideal seat of the Course. The partners of the Degree Course place it as an indispensable condition that its general structure respects a balance between the disciplines dedicated to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, leaving students the freedom to balance the space dedicated to one or another. In the current state of the skills and availability of resources provided by the partners in the training offer, a significant expansion of the latter to other religions is impracticable, however the organizing committee, which has already obtained the availability of the others two partners of the Course (the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Sicily-FATESI and the John XXII I-FSCIRE Foundation for Religious Sciences), hopes that this can happen in the future. The structure of the Course includes, in the first year, some mandatory teachings on the sources, methods and foundations of the history of religions at large, of the three monotheistic religions, and of culture, and on the history of Christian churches and confessions on a global level. These teachings are then accompanied by three other restricted groups of optional teachings concerning the hermeneutics of Christian, Jewish and Islamic sacred texts, and historical, historical-religious, geopolitical and anthropological studies related to religious phenomena, aiming to enable students to the decoding, too often trivially simplified or ignored, of the incidence of religious adhesion of individuals and groups in the current cultural, social, political and economic processes. The first year ends with a seminar transversal to all disciplines, aiming at deepening specific theme, distinct from year to year, related to the modalities of dialogue between religions, but also highlighting the potential obstacles to its development (activity F), and a language laboratory aimed at achieving level B2 (to choose from English, French, German, and Spanish), particularly focused on disciplinary lexicons. In the second year, a first group of optional teachings is provided, concerning the epistemological-doctrinal elaboration in the philosophical and theological field, both in its current results and in its historical evolution. A second group of optional disciplines is related to the literary and artistic representations, as well as the ethical codifications, shaped by religious systems. This last group is also integrated by three teachings, broadening the educational horizon to the religions of the Mediterranean, to those of India, as well as to the important theme of diasporas and religious minorities. The educational programme is completed by the elective teachings, with the possibility of drawing on a group of recommended subjects, useful for integrating the knowledge already acquired with specific historical, legal and pedagogical insights (in the latter case also due to the achievement of part of the 24 CFU required for access to competitions for teaching in the school). The teachings included in this last list in the form of free assignment in agreement (AFGC) with FSCIRE will be activated only in the presence of a minimum number of interested students, which will be established by the Course Regulations. The internship at organizations active in inter-religious volunteering, or at cultural institutions directly linked to the conservation/communication of the heritage of the sacred (archives, libraries, museums, radio or television broadcasters) then aims to better define the practical skills necessary in the labour market. Finally, particular attention is given to the final examination, considered as an important step of the education to research in the field of religious studies.

work perspectives

Profile: Specialist of religious and cultural transmission and mediation services Functions: Satisfying the need of society to have services specialists and qualified teachers with a specific disciplinary profile in the understanding of religious phenomena and with skills useful to foster a dialogue approach among people, communities (including those of migrants) and institutions with distinct religious affiliations. Skills: Interdisciplinary Area Knowledge of the indispensable methodologies to face the study of the historical and cultural identity of monotheistic religions, of their reciprocal relations and of the interactions with other religions, in the Mediterranean and world contexts. Ability to apply the acquired methodologies to interpret religious phenomena both in a diachronic and in a synchronic perspective, relating them to their historical, social, and cultural context, as well as to evaluate their impact in current socio-cultural contexts. Historical-Religious and Philosophical-Theological Area Knowledge of the philosophical and theological concepts and doctrinal systems elaborated by monotheistic religions; of texts held sacred by the respective institutional and non-institutional religious communities, and related exegetical traditions; of the salient traits of the evolution of religious history, also in reference to the religions of antiquity, and in particular of those linked to globalization in modern and contemporary interreligious relations (dialogue, conflict, separation) and to the diasporic conditions of ethnic minorities. Ability to make proposals on the ways to plan and implement deeper mutual understanding and integration between individuals and social groups from different religious and cultural traditions, starting from the analysis of recurring problems and tensions in the pluralist and multicultural context of contemporary society. Anthropological, Geographical, Sociological and Artistic Area Understanding of the ways and times through which, in different social and geopolitical contexts, religious systems or individual communities of faith have elaborated their conceptions of the sacred, as well as artistic, literary and visual representations and liturgical performances, and have shaped concrete practices of individual morality, community ethics, state law, up to the current policies of education to legality. Autonomous research skills in the sciences related to the religious phenomenon, as well as in the fields of investigation on the cultural, social and geopolitical impact of the religious factor, with particular attention to the study of the plurality of ethical-juridical orders (confessional and secular) present in the contemporary society, also with respect to gender perspectives and to construction of effective paths of education to legality. Professional opportunities: In addition to the competition opportunities pursuant to Table A of Presidential Decree February 13, 2016, n. 19, in the classes A-18 (Philosophy and Humanities) and A-19 (Philosophy and History), employment opportunities and professional activities can be found in: - Public and private study and research centres on the religious phenomenon and religious science institutes. - Religious or religion-related publishing (also in the mass media context). - Activity as experts in interreligious relations and communications and in the specific problems of multi-confessional social contexts, such as those relating to cultural mediation. - University research and teaching.

Characteristics of the final exam

The final examination consists in the preparation of a written paper presenting the results of a research carried out, under the guidance of a Professor of the Course, in original and not solely compilatory wat, on a disciplinary or multidisciplinary issue related to religious studies. The final examination is considered as an important step of the education to research in the field of religious studies.