Mental Categories: Practices and Representations in the Middle Ages - 2nd semester


a) To teach the use of online resources of research centres, specialized presses, congresses and seminaries, in order to characterize the current research
b) To present and explain the historiography on the subject
c)To present the portuguese historical sources and briefly introduce the students to the analysis of a variety
d) To work on the subject of “religious practices and representations of the laity in the Middle Ages” departing from some of its central themes: religious literacy, domestic religious practices, laity and liturgy, sanctity of the laity, attitudes towars death, rlay consideration of the ecclesiastic religous life; laity and reliigious reform; religion and social distinction
e) To teach methods of written and oral exposition of the scientific research

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Alessandra Billota, Miguel Metelo de Seixas


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





- ROSA, Maria de Lurdes, [artigos in] História Religiosa de Portugal, dir. Carlos Moreira Azevedo, vol. I, coord. Ana Maria Jorge, Ana Maria Rodrigues, Círculo de Leitores, 2000
- LOBRICHON, G., La réligion des laïcs en Occident (XIe-XVe. siècles), Paris, Hachette, 1994
- DUFFY, Eamon, The stripping of the altars. Traditional religion in England, 1400-1580, New Haven e Londres, Yale U. P., 1992
- CHIFFOLEAU, Jacques, “La religion flamboyante”, in Histoire de la France religieuse, dir Jq. Le Goff, René Rémond, vol. 2, “Du Christianisme flamboyant à l’aube des Lumières”, pp. 11-183, Paris, Seuil, 1988
- VAUCHEZ, André, Les laïcs au Moyen-Âge. Pratiques et expériences religieuses, Paris, Cerf, 1987.

Teaching method

- 40% of theoretical classes (oral explanation of the syllabus)
- 60% practical classes (classroom reading, analysis and debate of historiographical texts and historical sources; oral presentations by the students, commented by the teacher)

Evaluation method

Two individual papers presenting the historiography of part 1 and 2 of the «Contents» (5-10 pages each) (5-10 pp.) (15% each); individual paper analising a historical source concerning the subjects studied (55%). Oral presentation of the 3 papers (5% each).

Subject matter

1. Definition of concepts and history of their historiographical elaboration: «mental categories», « practices and representations », «cultural and mentalités history», «religion and devotion in the Middle Ages», «laity in the Middle Ages».
2. Presentation of the historiography of subject
3. Presentation and debate of theoretical texts concerning the subjects above, nrs. 1-2
4. Analysis in group-work, of historical sources concerning the subjects above, nrs. 1-2


Programs where the course is taught: