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Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450$
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Maijastina Kahlos

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190067250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190067250.001.0001

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Sacred times and spaces

Sacred times and spaces

Chapter:
(p.176) 13 Sacred times and spaces
Source:
Religious Dissent in Late Antiquity, 350-450
Author(s):

Maijastina Kahlos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190067250.003.0014

During the fourth and fifth centuries, Christian festivals gradually developed and were merged into the life of cities and villages. At the same time, many traditional local celebrations important to the communal life of these localities continued. This chapter examines the late antique bishops’ condemnations from the viewpoint of discursive boundary-marking in which the borders of ‘pagan’, ‘Christian’, ‘cultic’, and ‘civic’ were constantly shifting. The same persons took part in both pagan and Christian festivities. Practices that in the eyes of bishops appeared incompatible with Christian conduct were not irreconcilable for the participants themselves. One of the most popular feasts was the celebration of the New Year, which remained popular in the Christian Empire. Christian emperors did not prohibit festivals of this kind, which they defined as a common pleasure for all. The imperial government defined the content of urban celebrations in a manner that diverged from the delineations of ecclesiastical leaders.

Keywords:   cultic, festivals, popular feasts, bishops, boundary-marking, civic, celebration, New Year, urban, local

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