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MA in Media and Communications (السنة الدراسية 2015/2016)

Media and religion: Pope Francis' model of communication

CFU: 10
لغة المحتوى:إنجليزي
وصف المادة

This module aims to provide students with the fundamental features and issues of the media strategy employed by the current Papacy, with particular regard to the communication style of Francis, the first Jesuit Pope of history and also the first coming from the New Word. Although in past decades the Catholic Church experienced with pope John Paul II a master of communication, pope Francis presents himself in a completely new – almost revolutionary – manner, exerting both religious and political leadership through a very direct and apparently down-to-earth way of communication, which grasps the audience’s hearts and minds.
Pope Francis’ communication style is made not only of words and documents, but also of signs and gestures immediately understandable by the people. This explains why he has rapidly earned a worldwide consensus not only among Catholics and Christians, but also among Agnostics and Atheists.
Thus analysing his technique has nothing to do with belief, but with the skill of a personality which has a clear vision of the most relevant issues of the contemporary world situation and crisis.

Students will be introduced with the historical and political framework of Pope Francis’ action and with the following issues:

1.the reason why – through the existence of the Holy See – Catholicism is the only religion to have a state-dimension and a seat as observer at the United Nations;


2.the relationship between Catholicism and the other Christian denominations and Judaism and Islam as part of the Abrahamic monotheism;


3.the increasing role of the Papacy and the Holy See as global players after WWII and the special focus put by pope Francis on such hot issues like the worldwide social crisis and the phenomenon of the “new slavery”, the so called (by Francis) “Third Word War in bits and pieces”.


Islamic terrorism, the extraordinary migration-wave, ecology.

The impact of Francis’ policy and communication strategy will be described with both an in-depth analysis of the papal documents (e.g. Apostolic Exhortations, Encyclical Letters, Messages, Addresses) and a first-hand account of his direct communication style (sometimes improvised, but always obeying to a well conceived strategy) and his way of handling sensitive issues during his official state-visits (e.g. to the United States or the UN) and his meetings with the press on the papal plane.

أهداف المادة

At the end of this module students will be able to:


  • Understand both the religious and the special political role of the Papacy on the world scene
  • Evaluate the different means of communicating by a religious and political leader like pope Francis
  • Evaluate the use of metaphors and down-to-earth language
  • Evaluate the nuances of addresses, in which diplomatic skills are intertwined with the aim to express hard facts or even reproaches
  • Understand the importance of “memory” in a liquid society, which tends to give attention to the present forgetting the historical background of speeches and actions
  • Learn the difference between religion and manipulation of religious beliefs, especially in a time of fundamentalism and terrorism with religious background
  • Understand the connections between different social phenomena in the Pope’s communication: social crisis, ecological crisis, immigration crisis
  • Better know what communication in all fields means an how it is possible to connect a complex strategy with a simple and clear language
  • Anticipate ethical problems before they occur
  • Define and explain ethical behaviour
  • Practice ethical behaviour in difficult situations
  • Accept others' opinions and actions in a non-judgmental way
  • Understand sexist, racist, ageist, and homophobic behaviour and exhibit non-sexist, non-racist, non-ageist, and non-homophobic behaviour
  • Interact with and appreciate people from diverse cultural, social, and religious backgrounds
  • Interact with and appreciate physically or mentally challenged individuals
  • Use of ethical judgment within the professional journalism – use of social media and social innovations
أستاذ المادة
أستاذ غير متوفر
لائحة دروس الفيديو