Sarah Griffis.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies Sarah Griffis recently published an article online for The Religious Studies Project, an international collaborative enterprise that produces podcasts and resources on the social-scientific study of religion.

The article, “Using Archaeology to Learn about Christian Diversity and Martyr Shrines” is a response to a podcast in which Nathaniel Morehouse of John Carroll University and Lakeland Community College discussed “Power and Diversity in 4th Century Martyr Shrines.”

Griffis focused on two points made by Morehouse in the podcast — that the shrines of martyrs can teach us about the lives of regular Christian worshippers, and that early Christians were comfortable in and familiar with the diverse religious landscape of the time.

Using the archaeological excavation of the ancient Macedonian town of Philippi, Griffis illustrated how both of Morehouse’s principals were at work at that one site.

“The merging of religious identity that Philippi’s archaeological remains puts on display illuminates the lives of ordinary Christian worshipers,” she said, “and what it shows us about them is that these early Christians had no difficulty existing—materially even—right alongside non-Christians.”

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