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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55182
Doc. No:TL25136
Call number:‭3365509‬
Main Entry:Tracy Thorpe
Title & Author:The power of silence: The empty Temple Mount in Late Antique JerusalemTracy Thorpe
College:Harvard University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:237
Abstract:This thesis addresses a longstanding challenge in the history of the religious architecture of late antique Jerusalem, and it attempts to create new theoretical resources for approaching this challenge. Paradoxically, this interpretive problem has to do not with the meaning of an important sacred building, but instead with its conspicuous absence. When the Christians ruled Jerusalem from 324-638 C.E., they did not utilize the virtually empty Temple Mount that stood near the heart of the city during at least the first half of their rule. But it was not that the Christians were idle during their tenure; in fact, they built dozens of churches and monasteries throughout the city. Scholarly attention, however, has focused only on the religious structures that were built during Christian control. To date, no one has addressed what was not erected during that time, which was arguably their most prolific building period. Furthermore, no one has explored the reasons that may lay behind the neglect of the Temple Mount. In this dissertation I focus my attention on two fourth-century bishops of Palestine, both of whom greatly influenced the decision of Jerusalem leaders for the next couple of generations to leave the Temple Mount in a noticeable state of ruin. I hypothesize that for these bishops, Eusebius of Caesarea and Cyril of Jerusalem, there were primarily three compelling reasons for not building on the Temple Mount. First, I argue there was anti-Jewish rhetorical intent behind the decision not to build anything on the Temple Mount. Secondly, I propose that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, just to the west of the Mount, functioned as a restored Christian Temple in Jerusalem, symbolically replacing the destroyed Jewish Temple. Lastly, I postulate there were scriptural grounds for leaving the Mount unadorned. It is my intent to help reshape the traditional understanding of late antique Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the developing stages of Christian control. At the very least, I hope to contribute in a meaningful way to the general scholarly discussion of Christianity in Jerusalem by raising some questions that have yet to be asked.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Jerusalem; Temple Mount; Cyril, Saint, Bishop of Jerusalem; Eusebius, of Caesarea, Bishop of Caesarea; Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Sacred space; Religion; Biblical studies; Theology; 0321:Biblical studies; 0469:Theology; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:F. P. Bovon, Kimberely C.
Added Entry:Harvard University