#SemioPills 2 — Jörg Rüpke on the Comparative Study of Religion

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#Semiopills — NeMoSanctI interviews the most prominent scholars in the field of semiotics of religion

Episode 2 — Jörg Rüpke

March 6, 2019, Bologna, Italy
EuARe (European Academy of Religion) Annual Conference 2019

Interview by Gabriele Marino and Jenny Ponzo
Video editing by Federico Biggio


Jörg Rüpke is a leading figure in the field of comparative religion and classical philology, and a renowned expert in Roman religion. He is full professor and deputy director of the Max Weber Kolleg at the University of Erfurt (Germany). A number of books he authored and edited were published in prestigious series for Polity, Wiley/Blackwell, and Oxford University Press, among others. In 2018, he issued Pantheon (Princeton University Press; also available in Italian, Einaudi), his most comprehensive and up-to-date monograph about Roman religion, which presents insightful reflections about religious communication.



In your latest book, Pantheon (Princeton University Press, 2018), you define religion first and foremost as a form of communication. Could you please tell us more about this strong statement?

Could you explain us the role of communication and the evolution of media in shaping religions?

What is your method in studying the agencies involved in both religious communication and narrations?

What can the study of the ancient Roman religion teach us about today’s religions?

What is your idea about the semiotic approach to religion and how can a semiotic method contribute to the comparative study of religions?


“NeMoSanctI: New Models of Sanctity in Italy (1960s-2000s) — A Semiotic Analysis of Norms, Causes of Saints, Hagiography, and Narratives” is a research project carried out at the University of Turin, Italy. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 757314).

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