In sixth-century Iberia, Christian liturgy and worship became a focal point in a contestation of orthodoxy between Homoian and Nicene churches. As Nicene clerics in the Visigothic and Suevic kingdoms struggled to define distinctions and reinforce boundaries between the two communities, similarities between Homoian and Nicene liturgies complicated their efforts. Facing another Christian community they deemed heretical, these Nicene leaders were forced to consider their practices in contrast to Homoian churches, and to evaluate whether employing the same liturgical actions and materials as Homoians was problematic. This was especially the case for triple immersion baptism. In the 580s, the Visigothic king Leovigild’s aggressive pro-Homoian policies of the 580s attached new political meaning to shared and similar religious practices; in particular, both sides advanced claims to commonly venerated saints.
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