Urban and Religious Spaces in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium (Variorum Collected Studies)

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9780860788515: Urban and Religious Spaces in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium (Variorum Collected Studies)

Professor Spieser deals here with a number of the transformations that took place in the world of Late Antiquity - and early Christianity - focusing upon notions of space. The first set of articles, opening with a newly-written introductory essay, addresses the development of urban landscapes from the Roman period up to the iconoclast era in Byzantium. In particular, he looks at the consequences of christianisation, and argues that the changing fortunes of the town cannot be attributed to a few causes, such as war or natural disaster, but resulted from a complex interplay between the economy and ideology, religion and politics. A second group, concerned with the relationship of 'late antique' man with his surroundings, and therefore his perception of space, sets out to explain how the decoration of churches - on apses, for example, or on doors - reflects new senses of how religious spaces should be organised. Six of these studies have been translated into English for this volume, and it ends with an important section of additional notes and comment.

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About the Author:

Jean-Michel Spieser, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Review:

'... the characteristics of Spieser's scholarship are manifest: assiduous study of art and archaeology, generally set in a wide context of theology and urbanism, close familiarity with Patristic and later religious sources as well as with the vast relevant bibliography...' Revue des Etudes Byzantines 'Spieser's insights into how space shapes religious experience and theological reflection are the hallmark of this superb collection, which belongs in theological and university libraries.' Religious Studies Review '... his essays include some extremely insightful and helpful observations about the symbolism of space in the early Christian period...' The Heythrop Journal

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SPIESER, JEAN-MICHEL
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