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Grant number like: FT-55741-08

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

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 8/31/2008

Controlling Contested Places: Fourth-Century Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy

From constructing new buildings, to describing places controlled by their rivals as morally and physically dangerous, early Christian leaders fundamentally shaped their landscape and the events that unfolded in it. This study of the Roman city of Antioch will newly integrate Syriac and Greek sources, and will require scholars to recognize that places were ever-shifting sites for the negotiation of power in the complex fourth-century development of Christian orthodoxy. Examining leaders? physical and rhetorical efforts to defeat their opponents by controling and redefining Antioch's topography will unveil some of the powerful but as yet unrecognized mechanisms through which the manipulation of particular places shaped identity and perceptions of religious orthodoxy. My research will revise earlier scholarship by unveiling the ways in which the allegedly inert backdrop of Antioch's urban and rural places actually played a critical role in these monumental fourth-century struggles.