Pettazzoni, Raffaele

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PETTAZZONI, RAFFAELE (18831959), an Italian historian of religions, was "one of the very few historians of religion who took seriously the dimensions of his discipline: as a matter of fact, he attempted to master the entire field of allgemeine Religionswissenschaft " (Eliade, 1963, pp. 104105). He founded and promoted historical religious studies in Italy in the first half of the twentieth century and presided over the International Association for the History of Religions from 1950 to his death.


Pettazzoni was born in San Giovanni in Persiceto (Bologna) on February 3, 1883. He attended high school and university in Bologna, and during those years, under the influence of a positivist and Carduccian cultural background, he lost his Catholic faith. But he kept his love for religion and felt a vocation for the history of religions, a discipline absent in Italian universities at that time and in which he trained by himself, subordinating his philological, archaeological, and ethnological studies to it.

At the university in Bologna, Pettazzoni received useful suggestions for the study of myths and religions from Vittorio Puntoni, a Greek scholar also skilled in Oriental languages and literatures. Pettazzoni addressed problems of mythology and the history of religions in his M.A. degree thesis in Greek literature, "Le origini dei Kabiri nelle isole del Mar Tracio."After he received his degree (June 1905), he attended the Italian School of Archaeology of Rome (19051908). He then earned a general certificate of education in archaeological studies and subsequently worked as an inspector at the Prehistorical and Ethnographical Museum in Rome from August 1909 to October 1914, five years that were decisive for his scholar training. During that time he completed his classical education with the study of primitive civilizations, going from archaeology to paleoethnology, to ethnology, to the history of religions.

Pettazzoni took his first steps in the new discipline in an unfavorable political and cultural situation. Whereas in other European countries the scientific study of religions was flourishing, in Italy, after the abolition of theological departments in state universities (1873), there had been only sporadic official teaching of religious studies. At the beginning of the twentieth century the traditional indifference toward this subject was broken by the Catholic modernists' movement, which wanted to be a sound reaction against the supremacy of old ideas but which had "its own particular congenital deficiency: modernism, for its religious Catholic origins, for the very essence of its general aspirations, was fatally obliged to be much more interested in some religious problems than in others; the philosophy of religion particularly gained modernists' attention; in the history of religions first of all and above all they saw the history of Christianity" (Pettazzoni, 1912, p. viii). The hostility of the Catholic Church not only to modernistic ferments but also to the study of religious events using independent criteria along with the lack of understanding, or the opposition, of an important representative of Italian culture, Benedetto Croce, denied autonomous value to religion and thereby also denied its own autonomy to the historical-religious discipline.

In 1912 Pettazzoni published La religione primitiva in Sardegna about the primitive religion in Sardinia, the first monograph of a series he dedicated to single religions. In the same year, for the first time, he attended the Fourth International Congress on the History of Religions in Leiden, Netherlands. The following year he qualified to teach the history of religions at the university in Rome. (Before him only one other scholar, Uberto Pestalozza, had qualified in 1911. He qualified for the university in Milan, which established the conditions for the creation of another center for research on religions, the so-called Scuola mediterranea.)

In 19131914 Pettazzoni taught a free course at the university in Rome. He then taught with a temporary appointment at the university in Bologna until 1923, with an interruption for military service during World War I. At the end of 1923, after competitive examination, he became a full professor of the history of religions in Rome, the first such position for the subject founded in Italy, and he held this chair for thirty years, until 1953. In Rome from January 1937 to December 1939 he taught ethnology and so introduced this discipline into the faculties of letters and philosophy. Ethnology as historical science separated from anthropology and joined the history of religions. For Pettazzoni this union was a fundamental need, "since between the so-called historical civilizations (both ancient and modern) and the civilisations on an ethnologic level there is neither break nor substantial heterogeneity: but there is continuity and adhesion, in a dynamic development that goes from the most archaic forms of civilization to the most modern ones, with no solution of continuity" (Lanternari, 1959, p. 286). Pettazzoni gave concrete expression to this unity, founding the Institute for Primitive Civilization at the university in 1942.

From 1910 to 1924 Pettazzoni also faced problems connected with the methodology used in the study of religions. He explained his position about the matter in the preface to the volume of 1912, later in essays, and in his opening lecture of January 17, 1924. He advocated the historical-compara-tive method by which religious phenomena are not compared in themselves but in their historical, dynamic development; "a history embracing both inferior and superior religions, dead and living, primitive and contemporary, including Christianity, for also the history of Christianity as religious history, cannot be understood if it is not placed inside the whole religious history" (Pettazzoni, Svolgimento e carattere della storia delle religioni, 1924, p. 14).

In his works of that period and in his methodologic essays Pettazzoni's historiographic inclination is clear. In his writings he often returned to the foundations of his method, which he brought to maturity through his scientific work. For example, in a lecture to the Seventh International Congress on the History of Religions he clearly explained his method of comparison:

But comparison must neither be made following the method of the old comparative mythology (Max Müller), which compared only what was comparable from a linguistic point of view, nor following the one of the anthropological school (E. B. Tylor), which compared all that appeared morphologically alike, even if only externally and superficially. Only what is historically comparable can be rightly compared. From a historical point of view, in principle we can compare culturally homogeneous facts, that is belonging to similar historical-cultural situations. The religion of a rural civilization can only be radically different from the religion of a nomadic one. (Pettazzoni, "Le due fonti della religione greca," 1951, pp. 123124)

To the history of the comparative method and to his own comparative method, Pettazzoni dedicated the last article of his life, "Il metodo comparativo," published in Numen (1959).

His historicist ideas did not prevent him from appreciating some positive aspects of the phenomenology of religion. In the 1920s and 1930s, reviewing Gerardus van der Leeuw's works, Pettazzoni criticized the abstract nature and the classifying character of the typological methodology, but in the success of this school, from Rudolf Otto to the Dutch scholar, he saw the remarkable symptom of the need, more and more perceived by the history of religions, of overcoming the crisis of atomism and of collecting in a unifying synthesis.

In the 1950s Pettazzoni developed a personal relationship with Mircea Eliade (the first exchange of letters is dated 1926). Eliade favored Pettazzoni's approach to phenomenological positions.

In systematic terms, it means to overcome the unilateral positions of phenomenology and of historicism integrating them mutually, that is strengthening the religious phenomenology with the historicist idea of development and the historicist historiograhy with the phenomenological requirement of the autonomous value of religion, so defining phenomenology in history and at the same time recognizing the character of qualified historical science to the religious history. (Pettazzoni, "Il metodo comparativo," 1959, p. 14)

Instead, until his last days he maintained a strong opposition to the fundamentally antihistoricist currents and to the irrationalistic conceptions of religion.

After 1945 Pettazzoni also expressed his political and social thoughts. For example, he stood up for the defense of freedom of culture, of religious freedom and toleration, and of laic principles. In the 1950s he worked for the advancement of religious-historical studies on a worldwide scale. In 1950 the International Association for the Study of the History of Religions (later the International Association for the History of Religions) was founded, and in the same year, after van der Leeuw's death, Pettazzoni became its president. He helped found the review Numen and the series Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to Numen) in 1954. Also in 1954, during his presidency, the International Bibliography of the History of Religions began to be published under the supervision of C. J. Bleeker. Pettazzoni organized the Eighth International Congress on the History of Religions in Rome in April 1955. In the summer of 1958 he attended the congress in Tokyo, the first outside Europe.

Pettazzoni's last works worsened his already weak health, and he died in Rome on December 8, 1959. During the last months of his life some scholars, either trained at his school or in touch with it, held the chairs of history of religions in Rome (Angelo Brelich), in Cagliari (Ernesto de Martino), and in Messina (Ugo Bianchi), and some years later another pupil of his, Vittorio Lanternari, held a chair of ethnology, a discipline Pettazzoni strongly fought to have included in university faculties. In the early twenty-first century many more scholars refer to Pettazzoni's teaching, even if with different individual positions and different approaches.


After he published the volume about the primitive religion in Sardinia (1912), Pettazzoni in the 1920s published other works dedicated to single religions, studied in their historical-cultural backgrounds. His book on the religion of Zarathushtra in the religious history of Iran (1920) was the first volume of the series Storia delle religioni, which Pettazzoni founded and directed. This collection, fourteen volumes in all, including three other works by Pettazzoni and works by other authors, was published between 1920 and 1940. Pettazzoni also published a monograph on the religion of ancient Greece, La religione nella Grecia antica fino ad Alessandro (1921); an essay on mysteries, I Misteri (1924); and a small book on Japanese mythology, La Mitologia giapponese secondo il I libro del Kojiki (1929), the first of the second series he founded and directed, Testi e documenti per la storia delle religioni, seven volumes published between 1929 and 1937. In these monographs Pettazzoni based his research on the principle, expressed in his opening lecture in 1924, that every single religious event is a forming and, as such, is the endingand therefore the indicationof a precious development and at the same time the starting point of a further one. Several years later he wrote: "History ignores revelations; she only knows formations. Every phainómenon is a genómenon for history" (Pettazzoni, "Les deux sources de la religion grecque," 1951, p. 2).

In addition to directing the two collections, Pettazzoni founded the School of Historical-Religious Studies and the review Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni, which he edited from the first year (1925) to the double volume of 19531954. The programmed line of the review is on the second page of every issue: "Studies and Materials of History of Religions pursue scientific and cultural aims in their specific field. They give a contribution to the historical science as they consider religion in its development as a subject of history. They open larger horizons to culture promoting Italian thinkers' greater knowledge of less recent and less known forms and events."

Pettazzoni accepted contributions from Italian and foreign scholars who specialized in civilizations and occasionally studied the associated religions. "So, from the very beginning the review had assumed a twice as hybrid character, just as the other few periodicals of history of religions, then existing in the world, had: on the one hand, accepting articles of comparatists ('historians of religions'), of historians of single religions and of scholars of single civilisation in general; on the other hand accepting very different, if not often opposite methodological trends in each of these classes of contributors"; all this in order "to make events and problems of his discipline known in their largest variety, since he considered his discipline of the greatest importance; to arouse interest in it, and somehow to get its recognition in Italy, not only officially" (Brelich, 1969, pp. 67).

In 1910 Pettazzoni planned to develop Dio: Formazione e sviluppo del monoteismo nella storia delle religioni in three parts: the first part regarding the beings of the sky in primitive peoples' beliefs, the second part about the supreme gods of the polytheistic religions, the third part on the gods of the monotheistic religions. He finished only the first part, which was not published until 1922 because of World War I.

The problem of the Supreme Beings and of the origin of the idea of God was particularly discussed in the first half of the twentieth century. Andrew Lang's thesis, declaring that the first form of religiousness had been a rudimentary monotheism based on the faith in a Supreme Being conceived as "All-Father" and as creator, was asserted again by the ethnologist Wilhelm Schmidt, who, in the first volume of his monumental work Der Ursprung der Gottesidee (1912), "emphasized the exceptionally high character of the belief in the supreme being and, at the same time, its absolute primitivity and priority in comparison with any other belief, and therefore also its uniqueness" (Pettazzoni, 1922, p. 51). Pettazzoni, on the basis of this extensive work to verify ethnographic materials referring to uncultured peoples' religious beliefs, asserted that the claimed Urmonotheismus (primitive monotheism) could be reduced "to the more modest proportions of belief in a heavenly being, perceived as a personal figure of the sky, according to the forms of the mythical thought that is over to any form of primitive religiousness" (Pettazzoni, 1922, p. xvi).

The controversy between the two scholars continued into the 1950s. In Pettazzoni's opinion this belief in a being of uranic nature could be "seen also in the religions of most ancient peoples as the idea of a real God, and more precisely of a supreme God, according to the generally polytheistic character of the old religions." Moreover he asserted "that this universal belief in a celestial being was also of the greatest importance, later, in the historical development of the true monotheism" (Pettazzoni, 1922, p. xvi). In his works at the beginning of the 1920s he considered monotheism historically characterized as a revolution against polytheism: "Logically monotheism is the negation of polytheism, just as historically it presupposes a polytheism from which it derived as negation, that is as revolution" (Pettazzoni, 1923, p. 200).

Pettazzoni's research about the idea of God in his historical development advanced in a different way in comparison to the theory expressed in his 1922 volume. His attention increasingly concentrated on the Supreme Being's attributes, particularly on all-seeingness and omniscience. The study "Allwissende höchste Wesen bei primitivsten Völkern," published in Archiv für Religionswissenschaft (1931), is about the omniscient Supreme Beings of primitive peoples. The research was later enlarged to divine omniscience in different religions, a work that took up the author's time in the 1930s and 1940s and that was crowned with the systematic treatment published in Italian in 1955 and in English in 1956. Pettazzoni modified the thesis of the identity and unicity of the (uranic) nature of supreme beings, considering their nature conditioned by the cultural environment in which each supreme being was formed; hence the need for their own typology:

The primitive notion of the Supreme Being is no abstract a priori idea but rises in men's thoughts from the very conditions of human existence; and since these conditions vary in the different phases and forms of primitive culture, the form of the Supreme Being varies accordingly within these phases. As in farming cultures the Supreme Being is Mother Earth, because man's sustenance comes from the earth, and as in pastoral communities he is Father Sky, since it is from the sky that there comes the rain to make the grass, which is needful for the pasture of the cattle and therefore for human life, spring up and grow, so in a hunting-culture the Supreme Being is the Lord of animals, because on him depends the capture of game and the result of the hunt, which is of vital consequence for man. (Pettazzoni, 1956, p. 445)

The project of another work of phenomenological character dates back to 1914; Pettazzoni realized this project in the decade 19251935, studying the confessional practice in non-Christian religions (but Christianity was not excluded from the plan) in a systematic way for the first time. Numerous articles and books were the fruit of this ten-year research. In a few pages in the essay "La confessione dei peccati: Metodo e risultati," published in Scientia (1937), Pettazzoni explained the method followed in the research and the results obtained. These results, expressed either in final form or as a temporary hypothesis, can be summarized so:

The confession of sins appeared to him as a cathartic rite, essentially similar to the eliminating practices that usually accompany it. The elimination of the sin is obtained by evoking it orally, considering this, in the original phase, as a magic operation (the magic of the word). Nor did he see solution of continuity between the primitive magic operation and the confessional rite of the superior religions, giving both the elementary redeeming function: liberation from the miasma linked to the sin, first, and liberation from the repentance of the sin (or from the condition of sinner with regard to a god, or to God) later (Sabbatucci, 1963, p. 22).

The work on the confession of sins, as generally all the other works, received gratifying judgments from several scholars. The abundance and the clear exposition of the data collected were appreciated also by Adolfo Omodeo, who, however, denied any historical value to their interpretation, repeating his criticism, already expressed in other situations, to the position of the "science of religions," because "in it is possible only a process of generical synthesis of sociologic type, instead of the historical synthesis following an organized process of development" (Omodeo, 1937, p. 368). Pettazzoni replied to his colleague's criticism some years later, confirming his historicist position and the validity of historical-religious studies as historical science (Pettazzoni, 1946, pp. xvixvii).

"Pettazzoni is the scientist of great works," wrote Eliade (Eliade, 1938, p. 226). After the enormous research on the confession of sins, Pettazzoni undertook another important work that he had been planning since 1931: a wide anthology of the myths and legends of the peoples who did not know writing in order to divulge the voices of a primitive humanity. He worked on it in the first half of the 1940s and continued in the following years with the collaboration of Tullio Tentori (vol. 4, 1959) and Vittorio Lanternari, who completed it, supervising and finishing the second volume (1963).

This work persuaded Pettazzoni to return to a subject that had interested him during his youth: the interpretation of myth, the relation between myth and religion. In the preface of the first volume of Miti e leggende (1948) and in successive essays he expressed his idea of the "truth of myth":

It is thus evident that the myth is not pure fiction; it is not fable but history, a "true story" and not a "false" one. It is a true story because of its contents, which are an account of events that really took place, starting from those impressive happenings which belong to the beginnings of things, the origin of the world and of mankind, that of life and death, of the animal and vegetable species, of hunting and of tilling the soil, of worship, of initiation-rites, of the associations of medicine-men and of their powers of healing. All these events are far removed in time, and from them our present life had its beginning and its foundation, from them came the present structure of society, which still depends on them. The divine or other superhuman persons who play their parts in the myth, their remarkable exploits and surprising adventures, all this world of wonders is a transcendent reality which may not be doubted, because it is the antecedent, the sine qua non of present reality. Myth is true history because it is sacred history, not only by reason of its contents but also because of the concrete sacral forces which it sets going. The recital of myths of beginnings is incorporated in cult because it is cult itself and contributes to the ends for which cult is celebrated, these being the preservation and increase of life. (Pettazzoni, 1954, p. 15)

In his works of the 1950s Pettazzoni's methodological idea came to complete maturity. For example, in his writings about divine omniscience, compared to the volume on the celestial being, he "articulates his interpretation to the different cultural situations considered in their heterogeneous contexts, with coherently appropriate and different meanings." And in his introduction to the new edition of the book about the Greek religion "for the first time the historicist planning, that links the religious history to the social-economic history, appears in articulated terms" (Lanternari, 1997, p. 16).

See Also

Historiography, overview article; Monotheism; Schmidt, Wilhelm; Study of Religion, overview article; Supreme Beings.


A rich and important collection of bibliographic and documentary literature about Pettazzoni's life and work is Mario Gandini, "Il Fondo Pettazzoni della Biblioteca comunale 'G. C. Croce' di San Giovanni in Persiceto (Bologna)," Archaeus 7 (2003). Pettazzoni's main publications include "Le origini dei Kabiri nelle isole del Mar Tracio," Memorie della R. Accademia nazionale dei Lincei: Classe di scienze morali, vol. 12 (Rome, 1909), pp. 635740; La religione primitiva in Sardegna (Piacenza, Italy, 1912); La religione di Zarathustra nella storia religiosa dell'Iran (Bologna, Italy, 1920); La religione nella Grecia antica fino ad Alessandro (Bologna, Italy, 1921; new ed., Turin, Italy, 1953; French translation, Paris, 1953); Dio: Formazione e sviluppo del monoteismo nella storia delle religioni, vol. 1, L'essere celeste nelle credenze dei popoli primitivi (Rome, 1922); "La formation du monothéisme," Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 44, no. 88 (1923): 193229; I Misteri: Saggio di una teoria storico-religiosa (Bologna, Italy, 1924); Svolgimento e carattere della storia delle religioni (Bari, Italy, 1924); La mitologia giapponese secondo il I libro del Kojiki (Bologna, Italy, 1929); La confessione dei peccati, 3 vols. (Bologna, Italy, 1929, 1935, 1936; French edition of vol. 1, Paris, 19311932); "Allwissende höchste Wesen bei primitivsten Völkern," Archiv für Religionswissenschaft 29 (1931): 108129, 209243; "La confessione dei peccati: Metodo e risultati," Scientia 31, no. 61 (1937): 226232; Saggi di storia delle religioni e di mitologia (Rome, 1946); Miti e leggende, vol. 1, Africa, Australia (Turin, Italy, 1948), vol. 2, with Vittorio Lanternari, Oceania (Turin, Italy, 1963), vol. 3, America settentrionale (Turin, Italy, 1953), vol. 4, with Tullio Tentori, America centrale e meridionale (Turin, Italy, 1959); "Le due fonti della religione greca," in Proceedings of the Seventh Congress on the History of Religions, Amsterdam, 4th 9th September 1950 (Amsterdam, 1951), pp. 123124; "Les deux sources de la religion grecque," Mnemosyne 4, no. 4 (1951): 18; Italia religiosa (Bari, Italy, 1952); Essays on the History of Religions, translated by H. J. Rose (Leiden, 1954); L'onniscienza di Dio (Turin, Italy, 1955; English translations, London, 1956, New York, 1978; Polish translation, Warsaw, 1967); L'essere supremo nelle religioni primitive (L'onniscienza di Dio) (Turin, Italy, 1957; German translation Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg, 1960); Letture religiose (Florence, Italy, 1959); "Il metodo comparativo," Numen 6 (1959): 114; and Religione e società, edited by Mario Gandini (Bologna, Italy, 1966), reprints of the most significant essays of the years 19481959.

For a bibliography of Pettazzoni's writings and a list of writings on him and on religious-historical studies in Italy up to 1969, see Mario Gandini, "Nota bibliografica degli scritti di Raffaele Pettazzoni," Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 31 (1960): 321, and "Il contributo di Raffaele Pettazzoni agli studi storico-religiosi," Strada maestra 2 (1969): 148. Other bibliographic supplements are in Gandini, "Presenza di Pettazzoni," Strada maestra 3 (1970): 169. These bibliographic lists are reprinted in Jacques Waardenburg, Classical Approaches to the Study of Religion, vol. 2, Bibliography (The Hague and Paris, 1973), pp. 209215.

For detailed and documented notes on Pettazzoni's life, his published and unpublished writings, his scientific and teaching activities, the critical valuation of his works, his relations with Italian and foreign scholars up to 1940, see the eighteen instalments (over 1,800 pages) of Mario Gandini, "Raffaele Pettazzoni. Materiali per una biografia," Strada maestra 27 (1989)55 (2003). On Pettazzoni's thought and work see disciples' writings: Vittorio Lanternari, Rivista di Antropologia 46 (1959): 283286; Angelo Brelich, Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 31 (1960): 2328, 191202; Dario Sabbatucci, Numen 10 (1963): 141; and Ugo Bianchi, The History of Religions (Leiden, 1975), pp. 199200, and "Between Positivism and Historicism: The Position of R. Pettazzoni," in Religionswissenschaft und Kulturkritik, edited by Hans G. Kippenberg and Brigitte Luchesi (Marburg, Germany, 1991), pp. 259263.

See also Delio Cantimori, Nuova rivista storica 44 (1960): 179187; Alphonse Dupront, La Table Ronde 154 (1960): 129133; Charles Picard, Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 79, no. 157 (1960): 260266; Ugo Bianchi, Claas Jouco Bleeker, and Alessandro Bausani, eds., Problems and Methods of the History of Religions (Leiden, 1972), especially Geo Widengren, "La méthode comparative: Entre philologie et phénomenologie," pp. 514, in which the Swedish scholar expresses a number of reservations about Pettazzoni's historical-comparative method; Eric J. Sharpe, Comparative Religion: A History (London, 1975), pp. 184185; Ugo Casalegno, Dio, Esseri Supremi, Monoteismo nell'itinerario scientifico di Raffaele Pettazzoni (Turin, Italy, 1979); Olof Pettersson and Hans Åkeberg, Interpreting Religious Phenomena: Studies with Reference to the Phenomenology of Religion (Stockholm, 1981), pp. 4649; Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 49 (1983): 1; Nicola Gasbarro and Paola Pisi, Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 56 (1990): 1; Frank Whaling, "Comparative Approaches," in Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion, vol. 1, edited by Frank Whaling (Berlin and New York, 19831984), pp. 262264; Sonia Giusti, Storia e mitologia (Rome, 1988); Mircea Eliade and Raffaele Pettazzoni, L'Histoire des Religions a-t-elle un sens? Correspondance 19261959, edited by Natale Spineto (Paris, 1994); Walter H. Capps, Religious Studies: The Making of a Discipline (Minneapolis, 1995), pp. 8993; Natale Spineto, "Raffaele Pettazzoni e la verità del mito," Rivista di storia della storiografia moderna 17 (1996): 5965, and "Raffaele Pettazzoni e la comparazione, fra storicismo e fenomenologia," Storiografia 6 (2002): 2748; Riccardo Nanini, "Raffaele Pettazzoni e la fenomenologia della religione," Studia Patavina 50 (2003): 377413; Mircea Eliade, Zalmoxis 1 (1938): 226, and "The History of Religions in Retrospect 19121962," Journal of Bible and Religion 31, no. 2 (1963): 98109, 104105; Angelo Brelich, "Premessa," Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 40 (1969): 326; Angelo Brelich, ed., "Gli ultimi appunti di Raffaele Pettazzoni," Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 31 (1960): 2355; and Adolfo Omodeo, La Critica 35 (1937): 367371.

For an explanation of religious anthropology in Italy, see Vittorio Lanternari, "La parole des exclus de l'histoire: Débuts de l'anthropologie religieuse en Italie," Ethnologie française (1994): 497513, and Antropologia religiosa: Etnologia, storia, folklore (Bari, Italy, 1997), pp. 771. See also Gianfranco Bertagni, Lo studio comparato delle religioni: Mircea Eliade e la Scuola italiana (Bologna, Italy, 2002); and Giuseppe Mihelcic, Una religione di libertà: Raffaele Pettazzoni e la scuola romana di storia delle religioni (Rome, 2003). For a review of contemporary studies, see Natale Spineto, "Storici delle religioni italiani del '900: Notizie e osservazioni sugli studi recenti (19952000)," Storiografia 3, special issue (1999): 6382.

Mario Gandini (2005)