Comparative law: religion

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
1) Knowledge and comprehension. A level of general culture and legal culture is required to develop an understanding of the specific legal notions of certain "religious" laws (Canon law, Jewish law and Islamic law) and, in particular, to grasp the differences and specificities of these with respect to the secular systems; in this regard it is also required a fair level of ownership of lexical language and mastery, especially the legal one. For the part concerning the development of the sources of "religious" laws, it is also desirable to know some elementary historical notions.
2) Application abilities. Acquisition of the indispensable tools for the use of the concepts and legal institutes learned, according to the various cases that may arise, with the ability to face and solve problems even on new or non-customary issues, which are expected in the field of "religious" laws, in an interdisciplinary perspective and in order to acquire qualifying skills in the sense of a better understanding of social phenomena which, in a pluralistic society, emerge in their forms of juridical relevance.
3) Autonomy of judgement. Acquisition of a conscious autonomy of judgement with regard to the understanding and interpretation of the concepts dealt with.
4) Communication skills. For the topics covered, in addition to the above mentioned cultural and expressive starting requirements, the course aims to make students acquire the mastery of some concepts essential for the understanding of phenomena of great importance today, such as the expansion and multiplication of the spheres of the religious in today's society, and to draw from these new acquisitions the ability to read, interpret and then transmit those notions and skills. This is in order to integrate the legal training that, from an interdisciplinary point of view, is increasingly important as legal professionals have to be aware of the importance of being able to face an interpretation of laws as far as possible comprehensive of phenomena underlying them.
5) Ability to learn. Acquisition of skills for the adaptation of knowledges in relation to the studied contexts, the juridical institutions faced and the way in which they are related to the other existing laws, in particular those of the secular systems.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have a thorough knowledge of the course topics and of the method for a useful comparison between secular laws and religious laws; he/she will also have acquired the ability to address the more recent issues in the field of religious laws, in an interdisciplinary way and with independent judgment
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The first part of the course will deal with the topic of comparison between religious laws, highlighting its usefulness and method. Then the course will provide a brief account of Canon, Jewish and Islamic law, in order to allow students to compare marriage and some bioethical issues, as they are regulated in these legal systems. These two aspects will also be treated in the second part of the course, by examining two literary works: the book by AVRAHAM YEHOSHUA, A Journey to the End of the Millennium (2000), which deals with the theme of polygamy in medieval Judaism; IAN MCEWAN's text, The Children Act (2014), which tells the story of a judge called upon to decide the case of a minor Jehovah's Witness who refuses blood transfusions.
Prerequisites for admission
According to didactic regulation of the Course of Law, Private law, Constitutional law
Teaching methods
The course will take place through lectures, in-depth seminars and discussions on rulings and practical cases, including group works. The course is also integrated with the didactic module of Jewish and Israeli Law (20 hours, 3 ECTS credits, second semester) and with that of Islamic Law (20 hours, 3 ECTS credits, second semester).
Teaching Resources
During the course, rulings to be discussed and slides useful for written tests will be provided. For attending students who do not take the written tests and non-attending students, the text to be studied for the final exam is: SILVIO FERRARI (eds.), Strumenti e percorsi di diritto comparato delle religioni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The course, open to all, provides the opportunity for a small group of students who attend all the lessons to perform two written tests which - together with the study of the material that will be provided and which will be the subject of a short oral test - will replace the final exam. For attending students who do not take the written tests and non-attending students, the text to be studied for the final exam is: SILVIO FERRARI (eds.), Strumenti e percorsi di diritto comparato delle religioni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2019.
IUS/11 - ECCLESIASTICAL AND CANON LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professors: Ceserani Alessandro, Ferrari Silvio