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Choreographies of Shared Sacred SitesReligion, Politics, and Conflict Resolution$
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Elazar Barkan and Karen Barkey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169943

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169943.001.0001

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The Politics of Ownership

The Politics of Ownership

State, Governance, and the Status Quo in the Church of the Anastasis (Holy Sepulchre)

(p.199) 6 The Politics of Ownership
Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites

Glenn Bowman

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on the Holy Sepulchre or Church of the Anastasis, the “mother church” of Christianity, in an attempt to shift the analytic logic away from the identities of communities that cohabit sites toward institutions that attempt to own, or at least control, those sites. Pilgrims and celebrants in Jerusalem's holy places come to the places as guests; the Anastasis, like all of the other sites falling under the regimen of the status quo agreements, is not a parish church and hence has neither parishioners nor parochial duties. The situation is very different for the clergy affiliated with the monasteries of the authorities who hold possessory rights over the status quo holy places. The three major communities within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—the Greek Orthodox, the Latin Franciscans, and the Armenian Orthodox—all claim exclusive praedominium to [preeminence over] the places they believe they own. However, such claims are always mediated through structures of state power, and these shape choreographies of conflict or of sharing.

Keywords:   sacred sites, ownership, Holy Sepulchre, Church of the Anastasis, Christianity, status quo agreements, clergy, Greek Orthodox, Latin Franciscans, Armenian Orthodox

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