Selected Papers from the XV Oxford University Byzantine Society International Graduate Conference
Edited By Maximilian Lau, Caterina Franchi and Morgan Di Rodi
Christ and the City: Bishops, Churches and Temples in the Late Antique Levant
In the course of my article I intend to explore if and how the Christianisation of urban space was driven by Episcopal policy. In particular, I will seek to test the paradigm of Episcopal initiative: was the rise of the bishop as a key player in late antique society and administration matched by an increased freedom of action to intervene in the landscape and was he the main driver in this process whose existence is undeniable and whose results can be seen from the 6th and 7th centuries onward. Thus the fil rouge of my work will be an attempt to explore not the rise of the bishop as a figure, but rather whether this rise was matched by an equal rise in his power and freedom of action not within the city and the Empire but on the city. I also will inevitably have to touch on the issue of Hellenic resistance to the process of Christianisation, which will form a key part of my discussion and serve as an ideal counterweight to the process of Christianisation.1
The rise of bishops has been amply discussed by many authors, most recently by Wolf Liebeschuetz and Claudia Rapp both of whom follow a similar path in tracking their institutional rise, status in law drawing on descriptions of his role and position in the lives of saints and sainted bishops.2 The institutional approach, while providing us with a clear and concise ← 55 | 56 → narrative does have the flaw...
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