Lilian R.G. Diniz

in “IV Ciclo di Studi Medievali”, Atti del Convegno, Firenze 4-5 Giugno 2018, Arcore (MB) 2018, pp. 147-153.

Religious hybridity is a process in which two or more religious conceptions meet and mix forming a new interpretation. Such process is common in each moment of human history in which a cultural encounter and exchange happened, and its results are fundamental to the study of cultures and local identities.
In this paper I will concentrate on the process of Christianisation of the Roman west from the fourth to the seventh century, taking into consideration the role of clerics on the development of local religious interpretations that are characterized by hybridity, or else, the mixing between traditional practices and Christianity. I will use the ecclesiastical documentation, mostly councils and sermons, in which the participation of religious men in practices considered improper and of pagan heritage is explicit. This kind of documentation presents numerous condemnations of priests for a behave that, as it is my intention to demonstrate, was a consequence of religious hybridity and popular pressure. In a changing world where certainties are feeble and people are constantly confronted with new ideas, some beliefs, practices and traditions demonstrated to be too powerful due to their social and cultural importance, imposing themselves into Christianity and gaining the compliance of some clerics, those accused by bishops in the ecclesiastical councils of being contaminated by paganism.
I will provide examples from the documentation, confronting with other types of sources, in order to draw a picture of how popular necessities and expectations influenced directly the forming of local religious identities with the compliance of priests.

In foto: Iniziale “O” contenente il clero (Auxerre, Cath., ms. 0006, tome II, f. 50).

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