Erasmus Courses


The actual Erasmus course offers can be found in the central homepage of the Faculty of Arts. 



In the past, the following Erasmus courses have been offered by our Depatment:


Dr. Gábor Kendeffy

Pagan Theology in Antiquity

 The aim of the lectures is to introduce the students into the theological speculations of ancient philosophers, through the analysis of classical texts translated into English, French or German. The main questions we are focussing on are the following: The criteria of calling something a “god”; the origins of our concepts of divinity; rationalizing mythology; the goddess and the universe; the creation of the universe; intermediary beings (demonology); divine hierarchies; pagan monotheism; anti-Christian polemic. The most important authors and schools to be dealt with in the course are Xenophanes; the Sophists; Plato; Aristotle; Epicureism; the Stoics and the criticism of the New Academy; Neopythagoreism; Peripatetics; the Middle Platonists and Neoplatonists.

Dr. Csaba Máté Sarnyai

Aspects of the Study of Religion

The concepts of religion and culture had a parallel history in the last three centuries or so. The different interpretations of these ancient and fundamental notions and their relationship mirror both the major paradigm shifts in the humanities as well as their changing historical and so­cial contexts. This seminar is designed to provide the essential background on the methods of some major relevant disciplines that students can adopt to investigate a cultural or religious phenomenon. Apart from discussing the history and tools of the anthropological, sociological and psychological approaches, among other things, we shall explore the principles of the study of material culture as well as the impact of postmodernism on the research of religion and culture. Students are required to offer a presentation on one of the classical representatives of each method, such as E. Durkheim, C. Geertz, V. Turner, M. Weber, S. Freud, C. G. Jung, R. Otto, M. Eliade, Pierre Bourdieuetc. Evaluation of the students: participation in classroom debates (25%), presentation and handout (20%), midterm (25%), final-test OR 10-page MAT/MP-related research paper using one of the above methods (30%).

Dr. Anna Judit Tóth

Greek Religion in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period

1.      The roots of Greek religion: Indoeuropean connections (the theories of George Dumézil), the archeological remnants of the Cretan religion. Oriental influences (Hittites, Mesopotamia).

2.      Mycenean religion: Iconopgraphy of the Mycenean gods, sacred places (peak and cave sanctuaries), the Linear B tablets as sources of the early Greek religion. The dark ages of Greece, the ways of religious and cultural continuity.

3.      The Homeric pantheon: Gods and goddesses of the pre-classical and classical period, iconography and attributes.

4.      The hero: The epos as a religious phenomenon, cult and rites in Homer.

5.      Cultic places and rites in the classical period: Temples and other sanctuaries, Olympic and chthonic sacrifice.

6.      Festivals and the structure of calendar in Athens.

7.      Oracles: Their cultic and social functions (Delphi, Didyma, Dodona etc.).

8.      Mystery cults: Eleusis. Lesser mysteries. Orphic salvation.

9.      Greek religion in the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman empire. Hellenistic mystery cults: Isis, Magna Mater, Mithras.

10.  Late antique esoterica: Hermetic cults. Magic. Gnosis.

11.  The parallel development of Christianity and paganism in the last centuries of antiquity. Pagan theology.

12.  Beginnings of modern Greek folklore in the ancient and Byzantine literary sources.

Dr. Miklós Vassányi

Origins of the German Romantic Conception of God

 This course will acquaint students with three major intellectual strands from which the German Romantic conception of God originated, as well as with that conception itself. In the introduc-tory phase, we are going to learn about the rational theology of the schola Leibnizio-Wolffiana (Leibniz and the Schulphilosophie), the theosophy of early modern Christian Cabbala (Böhme and Ötinger), and Kantian transcendental theology. In the second part of the semester, we are deal-ing with how some of the major representatives (Novalis, Hölderlin, the early Hegel, Franz von Baader, Schelling and the early Schleiermacher) of German Romanticism conceived of God.

 Depending on the students’ language skills, the course may be held in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Dutch. Many of the readings are available in English or French translation.

Dr. Miklós Vassányi

Early Modern Socinianism and Unitarianism: An Eastern European Outlook

This course will introduce students into the complicated history of what might be called the most philosophical Christian ‘heresy’ of early modernity: Socinianism and Unitarianism. So-cinianism is the heterodox (subordinationist) theological doctrine that the Christ does not share in the divine essence of God the Father, who only superadds divinity to the naturally human es-sence of the Son. The Son is hereby regarded as a created thing (res creata). This theological position was identified as thoroughly heretic if not atheistic by all Christian (Catholic, Calvinist and Lutheran) churches after the Reformation. One of its earliest representatives was the Spa-nish physician M. Servet, burnt alive in Calvin’s Geneva for his heterodoxy. But this unitarian reduction of trinitology had been worked out more systematically by F. Sozzini, a Genoan gentleman, who, persecuted in his own country, then even in Geneva for his views, eventually fled to Poland, where he established himself as a respected theologian of the ‘Polish brethren,’ a unitarianist group of dissenters. In Transsylvania (today part of Romania), then, a unitarian church was gradually formed with F. Dávid as its first bishop.

 The course acquaints students with historical, ecclesiastic as well as theological and philosophical aspects of the Socinian-Unitarian movement in Eastern Europe but situates the prob-lematique in an all-European context. Depending on the students’ language skills, the course may be held in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish or Dutch.

Dr. Csaba Máté Sarnyai

Religion and Society in Central and Eastern Europe

1. Nationalisms in Central and Eastern Europe before the First World War, and their religious context;

2. The First World War and the Geopolitical Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe during the Interwar Period;

3. War, occupation, genocide and resistance in Central and Eastern Europe;

4. “Building socialism” in Central and Eastern Europe;

5. The thaw and 1956 in Central and Eastern Europe and its ecclesiastic consequences;

6. The failure of reform communism: 1968;

7. The final crises and collapse of communism 1980/89 and its effect on the churches;

8. Democracy, the market and resurgent nations and national identities in the postcommunist era;

9. Religion and culture: religious identity awareness as a component of national identity in contemporary Central and Eastern Europe.

Dr. Gábor Kendeffy

Anthropology in Ancient Christianity

 The aim of the course is to give a survey of the most important anthropological doctrines of Christian Antiquity through the analysis of Patristic texts translated into English, French or German. The main problems we are focussing on are the origine and nature of the soul; the soul-body relationship; the Fall and the free will – the polemic against Gnostics and Manicheans; fallen man; the theory of passions; blessed man; anthropology and Christology. The main authors and schools to be dealt with in this course are the Gnostics, the Greek apologists, Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Lactantius, Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, Nemesius, and Maximus the Confessor.