14. Local Cult, Transforming Miracles, and Global Discourses: Saint George in Lydda
Levantine Entanglements - Cultural Productions, Long-Term Changes and Globalizations in the Eastern Mediterranean - Terje Stordalen
Christine Amadou [+]
University of Oslo
This chapter takes the cult of St. George as a case study to approach the entanglements of the local and the global in the premodern Levant. It presents the early traditions and the localization of the cult of St. George, and through miracle accounts and other textual representations from the Early Middle Ages, it explores how the dynamics between local ownership and imperial ideology is present through the history of veneration for St. George. This saint cult’s history is marked by two historical watersheds: The Christianization of the Roman army in the fifth century and the conflicts between Christians and Muslims in the seventh century. St. George is interpreted as a mediator, i.e. a “transforming intercessor” on several levels: between the local and the global, between death and life, and between one place and another. This role is taken to explain the immense popularity of St. George and the spread of his cult.