Christine Amadou, University of Oslo “With the breastplate of righteousness”: The Military Saint Figuring the Dynamics between Local Cult and Imperializing Discourse

    In this project Dr. Amadou  will focus on the cult of Saint Procopius and its evolution in the Byzantine Levant between the 4th and the 11th centuries. She draws on hagiographical texts as well as homilies on the literary side, but the project also considers available iconographic sources. The cult of the military saints reflects fundamental changes within Christian thinking about war and violence, especially how an extremely popular saint like Procopius evolves from cleric to warrior. In her work Amadou will explore the interaction of local cult, theological discourse and imperial ideology. How was the military ideal adapted into the local Christian cult during those two different historical moments?  How did different social and geographical levels interact? How are territorial conquest and reconquest translated into the hagiographical material? The study of the Byzantine Military Saints will explore the concepts of local dynamics and globalization to bring forth important shifts in the discourse about violence and war, with the military saint as pivot and empirical material.

Short CV

Christine Amadou is Associate Prof. of History of Ideas, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas, UiO. Dr. Amadou has for the last ten years worked on hagiographies from Late Antiquity and Byzantine times, most recently with St. Hekla in the project “Gender and Exemplarity”. She also studied Christianity and ideologies of war in the PRIO project “Comparative Ethics of War”. Her planned contribution to the LDG project is a study of the cult of the military St. Prokopius in the Byzantine Levant. The study will track important exchange between imperial ideologies of war and Christian ideologies and cult practices of the Saints. The LDG exploration of the dynamics of pre-Modern globalization offers a new angle to this material and invites queries about the dynamic interplay of local culture and an ambitious imperial program of globalization and unification.