From Temple to Church: Destruction and Renewal of Local by Stephen Emmel, Johannes Hahn, Ulrich Gotter

By Stephen Emmel, Johannes Hahn, Ulrich Gotter

Destruction of temples and their transformation into church buildings are important symbols of past due vintage switch in non secular setting, socio-political method, and public belief. Contemporaries have been conscious of those occasions' far-reaching symbolic value and in their rapid influence as demonstrations of political energy and non secular conviction. Joined in any "temple-destruction" are the that means of the monument, activities taken, and next literary discourse. Paradigms of conception, particular pursuits, and types of expression of particularly numerous protagonists clashed. Archaeologists, historians, and historians of faith remove darkness from "temple-destruction" from diversified views, analysing neighborhood configurations inside of greater contexts, either nearby and imperial, in an effort to locate a suitable greater point of view in this phenomenon in the past due vintage circulation "from temple to church".

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Extra resources for From Temple to Church: Destruction and Renewal of Local Cultic Topography in Late Antiquity (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World)

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A symposion in such a context simply refers to a room in a house, often used for habitation but sometimes for other purposes; see Husson 1983, 267–271. The lease provides no information about the intended use of this room, and there is no basis for the assertion that a “symposium” was to be held in it. References to sections of cities by the names of temples located there are not evidence for the continued activity of those temples. A beautiful example occurs in a lease from Hermopolis, dated to 555, in which one of the lessors is “the Holy Martyrion of the Three Holy Martyrs of the Holy Sarapeion”: the Sarapeion, which has picked up the title “holy” from its newer occupants (the three youths in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar, from Daniel 3), is not validated as an operative pagan sanctuary in 555 by such an attestation.

Came to an abrupt end, and then its still active place of worship was immediately converted into a church; the destruction of the cult was motivated by concerns that had to do purely with imperial politics and with people in a neighbouring land (Nubia, to the south); and the Christianization of the place of worship had far-reaching religio-political repercussions in the region. But it is no less remarkable that at Philae the application of religious violence against a pagan cult centre was used at the very same time as a basis for creating an identity for the young local church—but in two completely different versions.

Jerusalem, which was transformed into a Christian city relatively early, resolutely, and with help from the highest levels of the government, thus appears as an exception from which no conclusions may be drawn for the rest of the region. In the other cities, the picture was at least less clear and uniform, for there the pagan horizon remained entirely visible and present. And finally, in the countryside of Palestine, even at a place like Mamre, Christianity existed for a long time alongside religious manifestations of completely different origins.

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