History | Medieval Studies | Religion


Colonizing Christianity employs postcolonial critique to analyze the transformations of Greek and Latin religious identity in the wake of the Fourth Crusade. It argues that the experience of colonization splintered the Greek community, which could not agree how best to respond to the Latin other. By offering a close reading of a handful of texts from the era of the Fourth Crusade and subsequent Latin Empire of Byzantium, this book illuminates mechanisms by which Western Christians authorized and exploited the Christian East and, concurrently, the ways in which Eastern Christians understood and responded to the dramatic shift in their political and religious fortunes. It offers new insights into the statements of Greek and Latin religious polemic that emerged in the context of the Fourth Crusade and how they more often revealed political or cultural anxiety than they advanced theological ideas. It further demonstrates how the experience of colonial subjugation not only transformed the way that Eastern Christians viewed themselves and the Western Christian other but also how the experience of colonialism opened permanent fissures within the Orthodox community.

George E. Demacopoulos is Fr. John Meyendorff & Patterson Family Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies at Fordham University.



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