The Christianization of the Peloponnese : the case for strategic change
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The issue of the persistence of paganism is now quite well considered; however, it is only in recent times that the same concern, approached from another perspective, the multifaceted nature of the Christianization of the Peloponnese, has become the topic of detailed discussion. It is likely that Christianization in Achaia took place incrementally and with a variety of effects according to the location (Sweetman 2010). The processes of how this took place and under what circumstances remain to be discussed in detail. As a considered and active process, understanding methods of conversion should provide insights into the nature of society at the time, particularly in terms of communications. Church location reflects a range of choices made in terms of the conversion process and therefore is fundamental to analysing religious transformation. Such insights are important particularly given the dearth of historical sources for, and difficulties of refining church chronologies in the Peloponnese (Varalis 2001; Caraher 2003). In the case of the Late Antique Peloponnese, a great deal is known about many individual churches as a result of quite extensive excavation of a majority of them; particularly through the work of Pallas and Orlandos. This evidence, together with the results of a survey of all the known Late Antique churches in the Peloponnese undertaken in 2012, allows a synthetic interpretation of all the material within the surrounding landscape to be possible. While the precise chronologies may remain elusive, this present study shows how sociological theories of conversion processes can be applied to the topographic analysis of the late antique churches of the Peloponnese to help determine the nature of Christianization across the diachronic range. In this work I will present some new theories regarding processes and phases of conversion, and the implications of these in terms of understanding networks and society in the Late Antique Peloponnese.
Sweetman , R J 2015 , ' The Christianization of the Peloponnese : the case for strategic change ' Annual of the British School at Athens , vol. 110 . DOI: 10.1017/S0068245414000227
Annual of the British School at Athens
Copyright © The Council, British School at Athens 2015. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0068245414000227Copyright © The Council, British School at Athens 2015. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0068245414000227
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