Replicating the Divine: The Religious Experience of Late-Antique Pilgrims to Qal’at Sem’an, Syria

15/11/2017, 15:30 - 16:30


Speaker: Heather Hunter-Crawley (Swansea University)

Chair: Shaun Tougher

This paper explores the cult of Saint Symeon Stylites the Elder in 5th century Syria from the perspective of agency and sensory theory. I will argue that Symeon was understood to be physically and materially present in the site of his asceticism, and that the pilgrimage complex and its associated material culture enabled pilgrims to replicate and re-embody the activity of ascent which elevated Symeon from the human to heavenly sphere.


Heather Hunter-Crawley is Lecturer in Ancient History in the Department of Classics, Ancient History & Egyptology, Swansea University.  Her present research project focuses on the relationship between religion and art under the Roman Empire and in Late Antiquity, particularly in pilgrimage, mystery cults, domestic cult, and Christianity.

Shaun Tougher is Head of History, Cardiff University.

The seminar starts at 3.30pm.  Wine and cake available from 3.20pm


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Religion & Theology Research Seminar Series