In dubious Battle on the Plains of Heav'n

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1. In a later, as yet unpublished, paper Hayden has elaborated on this model of what he calls 'antagonistic tolerance' to suggest that tolerance of the practices of another can be allowed in sites or locales belonging to a dominant religion as long as the other's power is inconsequential and presents no threat to that hegemony (Hayden 2010). This emergence of an 'exception' in Hayden's model is paralleled in Hassner's work by his assertion that sacred terrain can be shared when sites are 'of exceeding low centrality and vulnerability' (Hassner 2009: 12) becoming therefore 'far less attractive targets for outsiders intent on attacking the financial or political core of the community' (Ibid: 28). In each case the identitarian argument the analyst makes is circumvented by the assertion that as the power of the other becomes less salient the apparent commitment of believers to the sanctity of the site diminishes radically.

2. For case studies in the Middle East and Southeastern Europe see, Albera (2005), Bacci (2006), Bowman (1993), Bowman (2010), Fowden (1999), Fowden (2002), Meri (2002), as well as the papers in Albera (2009), Bowman (forthcoming) and Chiffoleau (2005). The project "Sacred Spaces: Religion and Conflict Resolution" organised by Karen Barkey and Elazar Barkan of Columbia University's Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion recently (May 2010) hosted "The Choreography of Sacred Spaces" in Istanbul.

3. The Greek (Roum) Orthodox (formally the church of the "Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople") has formal, though disputed, priority over the other Chalcedonian Eastern Orthodox churches; from the mid-16th century on it has become increasingly 'Greek' (in the national sense) in its orientation (see Bertram 1926: 34-78). The Catholics in the Holy Land have been represented by the Franciscans as "Custodians of the Holy Land" since 1342; a Latin Patriarchate was, however, re-established in Jerusalem in 1847, nearly seven hundred years after the Crusaders had been expelled.

3. Some Protestant groups revere alternative sites of crucifixion and resurrection such as the Garden Tomb while others deny the localisation of the terrain of redemption, assuming prayer anywhere in the Holy Land is efficacious.

4. The Holy Fire ceremony is probably the most fiercely controlled event in the entire repertoire of the Status Quo (Hecht, 1995 #976: 207ff) with rigourously patrolled delineations between the areas the members of each sect are allowed to occupy.

5. Armenian retention of rights seems anomalous at a time when Greeks and Latin rights were dependent on major diplomatic initiatives (backed by military posturing), but, like the Greek Orthodox (themselves in bad favour after 1821) and as opposed to the Catholics, the Armenian Orthodox patriarchate represented a substantial population resident within the bounds of the Ottoman Empire and subsumed 'other Christian groups that did not easily fit into the Orthodox category, such as the Monophysites of Syria and Egypt, the Bogomils of Bosnia, and the Copts' (Barkey 2008: 141) which it was better to appease than antagonise.

6. The following account is largely drawn from Cohen 2008: 194-201 and Hecht 1995: 194-198.


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