Introduction: Mapping the Desert, Mapping Identity in Late Antiquity
This chapter introduces the work, specifically why studying the desert in hagiography is of value for studying the history of Christianity. It explores recent scholarship on the genre of literature known as saints’ lives—or Christian hagiography. It also considers studies on space and identity in early and late-ancient Christianity and argues that these concepts are co-constitutive. Finally, it introduces the ancient desert as a borderland space in Anzaldúan terms.