Sam Turner

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199232444
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology


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  • Archaeology
  • Biblical Archaeology



This article provides an overview of archaeological approaches to Christianity and outlines some potentially fruitful avenues for future research and discovery. As such it is divided into two sections. The first section sketches the nature of Christianity's global archaeology in terms of the buildings, monuments, and material culture produced by Christian communities. It briefly considers some previous archaeological approaches to this material and how both digging and writing can be influenced by archaeologists' own social contexts. With this in mind, the second section looks at some ways archaeologists might approach Christianity today. It emphasizes Christian archaeology's potential for illuminating the lives of past communities not only within but also beyond the church building or cemetery, and suggests engaging with themes from modern archaeological theory that might enliven our research agendas and enrich our interpretations.

Keywords: archaeology; Christian buildings; monuments; material culture; Christian communities

Article.  8543 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Biblical Archaeology

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