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Sacred Thresholds. The Door to the Sanctuary in Late Antiquity offers a far-reaching account of boundaries within pagan and Christian sanctuaries: gateways in a precinct, outer doors of a temple or church, inner doors of a cella. The study of these liminal spaces within Late Antiquity – itself a key period of transition during the spread of Christianity, when cultural paradigms were redefined – demands an approach that is both interdisciplinary and diachronic. Emilie van Opstall brings together both upcoming and noted scholars of Greek and Latin literature and epigraphy, archaeology, art history, philosophy, and religion to discuss the experience of those who crossed from the worldly to the divine, both physically and symbolically. What did this passage from the profane to the sacred mean to them, on a sensory, emotive and intellectual level? Who was excluded, and who was admitted? The articles each offer a unique perspective on pagan and Christian sanctuary doors in the Late Antique Mediterranean.
The Building of Mosques in Early Medieval Syria
Author: Mattia Guidetti
In his book In the Shadow of the Church: The Building of Mosques in Early Medieval Syria Mattia Guidetti examines the establishment of Muslim religious architecture within the Christian context in which it first appeared in the Syrian region, contributing to the debate on the transformation of late antique society to a Muslim one. He scrutinizes the slow process of conversion to Islam of the most important town centers by looking at religious places of both communities between the seventh and the eleventh century. The author assesses the relevancy of churches by analyzing the location of mosques and by researching phenomena of transfer of marble material from churches to mosques.