From Temple to Church

Destruction and Renewal of Local Cultic Topography in Late Antiquity


Destruction of temples and their transformation into churches are central symbols of late antique change in religious environment, socio-political system, and public perception. Contemporaries were aware of these events’ far-reaching symbolic significance and of their immediate impact as demonstrations of political power and religious conviction. Joined in any “temple-destruction” are the meaning of the monument, actions taken, and subsequent literary discourse. Paradigms of perception, specific interests, and forms of expression of quite various protagonists clashed. Archaeologists, historians, and historians of religion illuminate “temple-destruction” from different perspectives, analysing local configurations within larger contexts, both regional and imperial, in order to find an appropriate larger perspective on this phenomenon within the late antique movement “from temple to church”.
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Biographical Note

Johannes Hahn, Ph.D. (1986) and Habilitation (1993), Heidelberg University, is Professor of Ancient History at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. He has published primarily on Roman imperial history and late antiquity, including Gewalt und religiöser Konflikt. Studien zu den Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Christen, Heiden und Juden im Osten des Römischen Reiches (Akademie Verlag, 2004).
Stephen Emmel, Ph.D. (1993) in Religious Studies, Yale University, is Professor of Coptology at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. He has published extensively on Coptic philology and Coptic literature, including Shenoute's Literary Corpus (Peeters, 2004).
Ulrich Gotter, Ph.D. (1992) and Habilitation (2002), Freiburg University, is Professor of Ancient History at the Universität Konstanz. He has published on Roman republican history, Roman historiography, and processes of acculturation and of Christianization and is currently working on monarchy in the ancient world.

The contributors to this volume are: Roger S. Bagnall, Doron Bar, David Brakke, Angelos Chaniotis, Stephen Emmel, David Frankfurter, Ulrich Gotter, Peter Grossmann, Johannes Hahn, and Helen Saradi.


All those interested in the history of late antiquity, the history of the Church, Christian historiography, hagiography, and monasticism, and the study of religious conflict in general, as well as archaeologists, Byzantinists, and Coptologists.


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