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Boundaries and Borders: Choreographies among the Rum Orthodox of Old City Jerusalem

Tsourous, Georgios (2018) Boundaries and Borders: Choreographies among the Rum Orthodox of Old City Jerusalem. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.65849) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:65849)

Language: English

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This thesis explores lived Christianity as witnessed through long-term anthropological fieldwork in Jerusalem's Old City and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (also known as the Church of the Anastasis), the place that hosts the sites of the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus of Nazareth, among other shrines. The study focuses on how people within the Rum Orthodox community, both clerical and lay, navigate intra-communal networks, as well as those linking them with members of other Christian communities.

Within the Church of the Anastasis, fragile legal agreements between different Churches, and the intersection of ethnicity and theology, create a complex reality of overlapping borders and a fragile coexistence among the resident communities. In order to unpack this, the thesis explores the Anastasis shared sacred space and the ways denominational boundaries as well as spatial borders are formed and maintained by the Greek custodian group. The thesis employs a materialist view arguing that any examination of the ways borders have been shaped in the Anastasis will benefit from considering the material aspects of religious practices - as they are followed both within and outside the Anastasis Church - as these shed light onto how people perceive similarities and differences across boundaries and borders. In contrast to the Anastasis context, lay Christians in the vicinity of the Old City interact in ways that push beyond denominational boundaries by crossing spatial borders attending each other's services and engaging in what this thesis calls 'border- crossing practices'. These are devotional practices that local (Palestinian) Orthodox follow that often diverge from the Orthodox Church's approved practice (orthopraxis). The study discusses the distinctive border-crossing attitudes, of local (Palestinian) Orthodox, who often perceive the Church's borders as problematic. By exploring how Jerusalem's Christians negotiate boundaries and borders, this thesis makes a novel contribution to discussions of contemporary shared sacred spaces as well as to debates in anthropology of Christianity and its material culture.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Bowman, Glenn
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.65849
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 22/07/21
Uncontrolled keywords: Anthropology of Christianity, Orthodox Christianity, Shared sacred space, Christian communities in the Middle East, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Inter-Christian relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2018 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2021 03:35 UTC
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