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Grant number like: FA-232749-16

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Christine C. Shepardson
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37916-3801)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2016 – 7/31/2017

A Memory of Violence: The Radicalization of Religious Difference in the Middle East (431-750 CE)

The writing of a book-length history of the origins of the anti-Chalcedonian Christian tradition in the context of religious conflict.

Religious violence flared up in the eastern Mediterranean as the controversy surrounding the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE) became sharply politicized, leaving the church permanently divided in schism to this day. The early history of this Chalcedonian conflict and its crystallization into permanent schism is the subject of my third book, which will argue that the writings of 5th- and 6th-century Syriac-speaking church leaders constructed a shared memory of persecution and resistance that equipped their anti-Chalcedonian Christian community to survive decades of imperial hostility. This study will newly integrate Syriac and Greek sources through the lens of memory studies and recent studies on religious violence. Such analysis will shed new light on this historical example of religious conflict, radicalization, and schism, while making the mechanics of these processes more visible as our world struggles to understand and respond to new religious conflicts in the region today.