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Document Details :

Title: Competing Religions in Competing Landscapes
Subtitle: Urban, Rural, and Wild Scenery in Late Antique Cappadocia
Author(s): TOMMASI, Chiara O.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 97    Issue: 3   Date: 2021   
Pages: 469-502
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.97.3.3289715

Abstract :
The present article investigates how religious traditions in late antique Cappadocia approached sacred space, with attention to the peculiar geographical structure of the region. Examples, which derive mainly from the writings of the Cappadocian fathers, include: episodes from the life of Gregory Thaumaturgus; the shaping of a local martyrial tradition; the actual experience of ascetic communities; and the persistence and marginalisation of heretical fringe groups. These cases show how the power of controlling nature is explicitly linked to the civilising power of Christianity, and they allow a detailed socio-historical reconstruction that fits into the wider perspective of late antique religious struggles. At the same time, the interpretations of wild scenery (sometimes implicitly opposed to urban settings) were employed by the Cappadocian fathers to demonstrate that Christian morality was inherent in the natural landscape of Cappadocia.

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