Christine Shepardson F'09

Christine  Shepardson
Associate Professor
Religious Studies
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

ACLS Fellowship Program 2009
Assistant Professor
Religious Studies
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Controlling Contested Places: Fourth-Century Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy

Early Christian leaders fundamentally shaped their landscape and therefore the events unfolding in it. As a result, places in the Roman city of Antioch were ever-shifting sites for the negotiation of power in late antiquity. Competing Christian leaders’ physical and rhetorical efforts to control and redefine Antioch's topography demonstrate some of the powerful mechanisms through which local places affected identity and perceptions of religious orthodoxy. This recognition revises earlier narratives of Christianization and the development of Christian orthodoxy by revealing ways in which leaders deployed the allegedly inert backdrop of Antioch's urban and rural places to shape the outcome of critical fourth-century intra-Christian controversies.