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Orthodox Choreographies (Hardback)

Boundaries, Borders and Materiality in Jerusalem's Old City

P&S History > Theology & Religion > Christianity

Imprint: Gorgias Press
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781463246259
Published: 30th June 2024
Casemate UK Academic

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The book offers a comprehensive anthropological study of lived Christianity in Jerusalem’s Old City, with a special focus on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the Church of the Anastasis. Based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork, the study explores the experiences of the Rum Orthodox community, examining their internal dynamics and relationships with other Christian groups. Within the Church of the Anastasis, complex interplays emerge, as fragile legal agreements intermingle with ethnic and theological considerations, resulting in a complex reality of shared spaces and coexistence. A materialist lens is employed to study these dynamics, suggesting that the material aspects of religious practices play a crucial role in shaping borders and influencing perceptions of similarities and differences across them. Outside the Church's confines, in the Old City of Jerusalem, lay Christians, especially the local Palestinian Orthodox, engage in 'border-crossing practices', which often deviate from the Orthodox Church's approved practice. These practices reflect the flexible strategies local Christians adopt in their everyday lives in Israel, challenging established norms and boundaries. By capturing these dynamics, the book provides valuable insights into shared sacred spaces and offers a significant contribution to debates in the anthropology of Christianity and its material culture.

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