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Encountering the SacredThe Debate on Christian Pilgrimage in Late Antiquity$
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Brouria Bitton-Ashkelony

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241916

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241916.001.0001

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Augustine on Holy Space

Augustine on Holy Space

(p.106) 3 Augustine on Holy Space
Encountering the Sacred


University of California Press

Augustine shows more difficulty on the phenomenon of pilgrimage in late antiquity. The absence in his wide-ranging literary works of any direct reference to the phenomenon and the lack of evidence that he visited any of the pilgrimage centers of the time of Rome or Jerusalem are the reasons for his difficulty. Augustine never tipped that he desired to undertake such a visit unlike other thinkers from the Latin-speaking West. The arena where important events in which Augustine took part and other Western intellectuals were involved at the end of the fourth century and the beginning of the fifth turned out to be Palestine. Moreover, Augustine ignored the widespread practice of pilgrimage to the tombs of apostles and martyrs in Rome, even though he did refer to the apostles and martyrs in sermons preached to his local congregation. Augustine then visited the city in 383 and lived there from 387 to 388, and so it may be assumed that he was very familiar with the phenomenon of pilgrimage in Rome.

Keywords:   Augustine, Rome, Latin, apostles, congregation

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