Didaskaleion - Catholic Evangelization Center - Torino, Italy



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"Preach the Gospel to every creature" - (Mark 16:15)

"Every speech is left incomplete" - (Qo 1:8)




This basic course is the first step to the comprehension of Christian message, and paves the way, with a rigorous approach, to future deepening of the study.


The course is updated to the last edition (may 2002), personally authored and edited by Rev. Piero Ottaviano. Below you can find the Italian pdf version, in format A5 (standard) or A4 (booklet).

You can also download the complete Basic Course in ebook format.




Chapter I - The Foundations of Christianity   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Introduction

  • The concept of religion

  • Christian religion: revealed religion

  • The Resurrection

  • Documents' critical analysis

  • Conclusion



    Chapter II - Reactions to the announcement of the Resurrection   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Premise

  • Reactions to the announcement of the Resurrection

  • Uncertainties

  • Historical Existance of Jesus of Nazareth

  • Minimal conclusions



    Chapter III - Christian writings   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Problems

  • The books in the first Christian communities

  • Why they were written

  • Authors

  • New Books

  • Copies

  • The Canon of the New Testament

  • Formation of the Canon

  • Canonicity criteria

  • Controversies

  • Conclusions

  • The Transmission of the Text

  • The search for the original text

  • Documents variants

  • Recontructing the original text

  • Results



    Chapter IV - Historicity of the Resurrection and documents   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • The issue

  • The method of work

  • Purpose of the analysis

  • The documents concerning the Burial and the Resurrection

  • Gospel of Mark

  • Gospel of Luke

  • Gospel of Matthew

  • Gospel of John

  • Memories of Nicodem

  • Letter of the Apostles

  • Gospel of Peter

  • Dialog with Triphon of Justin



    Chapter V - Critical analysis of some documents   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • John 20:1-10: the Shroud

  • Preliminary informations concerning the 4th Gospel

  • Text analysis

  • A consideration



    Chapter VI - Critical analysis of some documents   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Matt. 27:28: the guard at the Sepulchre

  • Informations over the Gospel of Matthew

  • Text analysis

  • Considerations

  • An indisputable fact: the empty sepulchre.

  • Differences among canonical texts

  • Gospel of Peter (apocryphal)

  • Discovery of the manuscript

  • Datation

  • Place of origin

  • Connections with the Gospels

  • Commented text

  • Conclusions



    Chapter VII - Conclusions concerning the historicity of Resurrection   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • The issue: historicity of what has been written down

  • Interpretations against historicity:

  • hypothesis of bad faith of the first Christians

  • hypothesis of good faith of the first Christians

  • Critical or Rationalist School

  • Mythical School

  • Interpretations favorable to historicity



    Chapter VIII - The Act of Faith   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Introduction

  • Faith for the Apostles' disciples

  • Faith for today's Christians

  • Act of Faith in the Church

  • Favorable arguments

  • Reply to the Critical School

  • Reply to the Mythical School

  • Arguments supporting historicity

  • The Act of Faith of the Apostles

  • Structure of the Act of Faith today

  • Reactions of the listener

  • Faith as a gift of God

  • Heresy

  • Appendix: informations over the Apostles



    Chapter IX - The Christian, disciple of Christ   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Who's the Christian (adult)

  • Acts of the Apostles 2:36-42

  • Colossians 2:6 - 3:11

  • Ephesians 5:1-21

  • Romans, Chap. 14

  • Christian Life and external laws

  • The "law" of Jesus: love

  • Sin

  • Appendix: human life in the light of the Resurrection

  • The meaning of life: reason's answer

  • Christian answer: imitation of Jesus

  • Human morality and Christian morality (revealed)

  • Epistle to Diognetus, Chap. 5



    Chapter X - Christian Vocations   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Premise

  • Religious Consecrated life

  • What does it mean

  • Historical forms of religious life

  • Secular Life

  • What does it mean

  • Seculars' functions

  • Relations between religious and secular life



    Chapter XI - The Church: community of Christians   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • The nature of the Church

  • God's calling

  • Positive answer of the man / woman

  • Church organization

  • The origins (I Century)

  • Between 2nd and 5th centuries

  • Today

  • Laity in the Church

  • Who is a lay person?

  • Functions of a secular lay

  • Appendix: Bishop's election in the western churches



    Chapter XII - The interpretation of the Gospel and the infallibility   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • The problems

  • The answer

  • The testimony of the first Christians

  • The testimony of the Apostles concerning Jesus

  • The answers of the New Testament

  • The Church is infallible

  • Infallibility of the Church

  • Infallibility of the Council and of the Pope

  • Limits of Infallibility

  • Precisations

  • The Christian and infallibility

  • The dogmas and the ecclesiastical magistry



    Chapter XIII - The Bible, Word of God   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • The Canon of official Christian Books

  • The text's transmission

  • The Bible, Word of God (inspiration)

  • The interpretation of the Bible

  • Synthesis

  • Appendix: method for Bible's reading



    Chapter XIV - Evangelization and Sacraments   [A5 standard] [A4 booklet]

  • Evangelization

  • Reception of Evangelization

  • Sacraments

  • The various Sacraments:

  • The Sacrament of Christian Initiation

  • The Sacrament of Christian Confirmation

  • The Sacrament of Eucharist – The Mass

  • The Sacrament of Penance

  • The Sacrament of Extreme Unction

  • The Sacrament of Ordination

  • The Sacrament of Marriage

  • Conclusions



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