Space and place: late antique churches and place remaking

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The transformation of the religious landscape from polytheistic to monotheistic took place over a period of around 300 years. Understandably, some of this transformation was organic, but in order for it to be successful, elements of it had to have been planned. In both conditions, place-making and remaking was a fundamental part of successful conversion. Literary, epigraphic and archaeological data reveal a number of ways in which this happened: from the carefully chosen location to the architectural form to associated figures and stories and use of emotion, memory and the senses. Furthermore, the socio-economic context for the construction of the earliest churches in the East was in part shaped by protracted forced displacement of populations in the fourth century due to conflict as well as environmental and economic reasons. Place-making helps to create shared experiences, favouring tolerance for religious diversity. It is an obvious way to help restore communities and it is possible that Christian communities may have seen this as an opportunity for supporting others, using it to help make process of transition as peaceful as possible, as well as proselytising. The aim of this chapter is to explore the role of place-making and remaking in the construction of churches in Greece from the fourth century onwards. In doing so, we will highlight the diversity of Christianisation processes and the importance of the maintenance of community identity in place-making and remaking.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLived spaces in late antiquity
EditorsCarlos Machado, Rowan Munnery, Rebecca Sweetman
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780429427152
ISBN (Print)9781138385306, 9781032704357
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2024


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