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Christianizing Egypt

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How does a culture become Christian, especially one that is heir to such ancient traditions and spectacular monuments as Egypt? T... Weiterlesen
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How does a culture become Christian, especially one that is heir to such ancient traditions and spectacular monuments as Egypt? This book offers a new model for envisioning the process of Christianization by looking at the construction of Christianity in the various social and creative worlds active in Egyptian culture during late antiquity.

As David Frankfurter shows, members of these different social and creative worlds came to create different forms of Christianity according to their specific interests, their traditional idioms, and their sense of what the religion could offer. Reintroducing the term "syncretism" for the inevitable and continuous process by which a religion is acculturated, the book addresses the various formations of Egyptian Christianity that developed in the domestic sphere, the worlds of holy men and saints' shrines, the work of craftsmen and artisans, the culture of monastic scribes, and the reimagination of the landscape itself, through processions, architecture, and the potent remains of the past.

Drawing on sermons and magical texts, saints' lives and figurines, letters and amulets, and comparisons with Christianization elsewhere in the Roman empire and beyond, Christianizing Egypt reconceives religious change-from the "conversion" of hearts and minds to the selective incorporation and application of strategies for protection, authority, and efficacy, and for imagining the environment.


David Frankfurter


List of Illustrations xi
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xvii
Abbreviations xix
1 Remodeling the Christianization of Egypt 1
I Overture 1
II Historical Setting 3
III The Problem of "Pagan Survivals" 7
IV Syncretism and Purification 15
V Agency, Gesture, and Landscape 20
VI Social Sites and Religious Worlds of Syncretism in Late Antique Egypt 24
VII Postscript on Comparison and the Scope of Argument 31
2 Domestic Devotion and Religious Change Traditions of the Domestic Sphere 34
I Overture 34
II Defining the Domestic Sphere and Its Religious Character in Late Antique Egypt 38
III Christianization and the Imagination of New Boundaries 44
IV The Domestic World as Site of Religious Bricolage 48
V Domestic Ritual, Domestic Agents, and the Syncretic Construction of Christianity 54
A Lamp-lighting 55
B Bread Stamps 55
C Domestic Charms and Their Dramatis Personae 56
D Female Figurines and the Ambiguity of Representation 58
E Amulets, Curses, Saintly Blessings, and Votive Donations 61
VI Agents of the Domestic Sphere: Gender and Creative Independence 64
VII Conclusion 68
3 Controller of Demons, Dispenser of Blessings Traditions of the Holy Man as Craftsman of Local Christianity 69
I Introduction: Saints and Syncretism 69
II Implications of Classification: From "Saint" to "Regional Prophet" 74
III Exorcism and the Reordering of Tradition 76
A Reordering Perceptions of Evil 78
B Exorcism and Charisma 80
C Demonology as Preservation 85
IV Holy Men in the Egyptian Landscape 87
A Divination and the Definition of New Centers 87
B Ritual and the Egyptian Environment 90
C Syncretism and the Dispensing of Materials 92
V Conclusion 100
4 A Site of Blessings, Dreams, and Wonders Traditions of the Saint's Shrine 104
I Introduction 104
II The Saint's Shrine as Social Site 108
III Gestures 111
IV Collective Expressions: Festivals and Their Gestures 114
A Festival Hilarity and Control 114
B Processions 118
C Animal Slaughter and Feasting 120
D Dance 122
V Individual Expressions: Imprecation, Contact, Votive 126
VI Divination 130
VII Possession and the Performance of Spirits and Saintly Power 138
VIII Conclusion 144
5 The Magic of Craft Traditions of the Workshop and the Construction of Efficacy 145
I Introduction: Art and Efficacy 145
II Workshops in Late Antique Egypt 151
III Examples 160
A Stonecarvers 160
B Potters and Terracotta Artisans 162
C Painters 167
D Textile Weavers 171
E The Mortuary Craft 176
IV Conclusion 181
6 Scribality and Syncretism Traditions of Writing and the Book 184
I Introduction 184
II Scribality at the Shrines of the Saints 186
III Monastic Scribes and the Mediation of Christianity 189
A Monastic Libraries and Eclectic Scribes 190
B Monastic Settings of Scribal Mediation 192
IV Scribes and the Magic of Word and Song 197
V The Recollection of Literary Traditions through the Scribal Craft 211
A The Land of Egypt Oracle 212
B Images of Amente and Its Demons 218
1 The Media of Amente in Late Antique Egypt 219
2 The Coptic Amente Mythology: Earlier Egyptian and Jewish Apocalyptic Traditions 222
3 Apocalyptic Interpretation in Egypt and the Integration of Egyptian Traditions 226
VI Conclusion 228
7 Whispering Spirits, Holy Processions Traditions of the Egyptian Landscape 233
I Introduction: Religious Landscape and Christianization 233
II Temples and Churches 237
III Habitats and Haunts of Spirits 242
IV Procession and Perception of Landscape 248
V Inventing and Envisioning a Sacred Landscape 253
VI Conclusion 256
Afterword 257
Bibliography 263
Illustration Credits 309
Index 311


Titel: Christianizing Egypt
Untertitel: Syncretism and Local Worlds in Late Antiquity
EAN: 9781400888009
ISBN: 978-1-4008-8800-9
Format: E-Book (pdf)
Herausgeber: Princeton University Press
Genre: Religion, Theologie
Anzahl Seiten: 336
Veröffentlichung: 05.12.2017
Jahr: 2017
Untertitel: Englisch
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