To begin with, three encounters. My first experiences of real religious space as a young man were in Hindu, Jewish, and Orthodox Christian settings. My junior year of high school I took a sociology class that asked me to visit a religious group I myself did not belong to; it eventuated in my first trip to the Hindu Temple of St. Louis, a beautiful mandir over on Weidman Rd. (and just up the street from our largest Sunni masjid). The priests agreed to meet and speak with us. We took off our shoes in the basement, where a foot-washing center was available to us, ascended the stairs, and watched as others rang the bell upon crossing the threshold. At various shrines—having always been nerdy about religion, I recognized the gods, Ganesh, Shiva, and so forth—there were people at prayer, offering gifts and incense; long lines stretched before three great central shrines with their own housing, consecrated for those I recognized as Vishnu and his two principal avatars, Rama and Krishna, together with their lady consorts. My grandfather and I merely observed, curious about our new surroundings. We were invited to join, and while we politely declined, I was struck by how much more austere and, well, religious the building was compared to the Protestant church I attended.
I wanted something more like that space. I was also growing more curious about Modern Judaism. My interest in Jews, Judaism, and Judaica is lifelong, as has been my fascination with apocalypticism and mysticism; the Christian circles I moved in before becoming a regular churchgoer had, variously, encouraged my reading of the Hebrew Bible and my attention to, among other things, the Israeli state and its potentially cataclysmic headlines in the news. Having left these folks behind, I had begun reading NT Wright in my sophomore year of high school, and as I read Wright continuously talking about the relevance of first century Jews and Judaism for understanding Jesus and the growth of the early church (a relevance the grasp of which I now question whether Wright sufficiently has), it dawned on me that I had read and heard Christians talk about Judaism much more than I had simply spent time with Jews. So, as a high school kid, for two autumns in a row, I trekked over in my hand-me-down car (my great-grandmother’s 1986 Grand Marquis, provided that it wasn’t leaking coolant) to a local Reform synagogue once a week, on erev Shabbat, for services, a meal, and a talk with the cantor or a rabbi. My first ever translation of the Bible made by Jews, for Jews, came from that gift shop, as did my first experience of real liturgy.
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It was also my first real experience of sacred space in an Abrahamic context. The design of the building, the structure of the bema, the decoration of the Ark, the beauty of the Torah scroll, the menorah on the wall, the low light gently irradiating the room: each of these things gave me at one and the same time an experience of being both in a holy setting as well as though I were gathered for a familial convivium. A perpetual tension in my religious life has been the ease with which I feel I could melt into the space and rhythms of synagogue life on the one hand and the difficulty I have often found with simply being Christian, impelled often enough only by my genuine love of Christ, on the other.
I would not come into a sense of truly sacred space again until I got to college and first attended Unexpected Joy for a service of vesperal prayer on Old Calendar Palm Sunday. But I will perhaps save that recollection for later. For now, suffice it to say that my first real experiences of the sanctification of space were outside of Christianity, and they led me within Christianity to folds beyond my origins on the ecclesial margins and then in the Protestant world. They got me thinking about temples—a topic that has continually occupied my attention since I first went to college for Religious Studies, but that even before, loomed large in my unconscious. A dweller in motels, apartments, and rented homes from my youth, few of them clean, many thick with the smoke of my father’s cigarettes and the layered filth of previous inhabitants, as a rule brutally boring in their architectural style and amenities, a public school kid coming of age in the early 2000s, almost my whole experience of human spaces as a young man was that order imposed by people tended to ruin space, that human spaces were usually banal and filthy places and that those whose weren’t had attained them dishonestly. Temples were not only my first experience of good religious use of space: they were my first real experience of good space, full stop.
“On the most archaic levels of culture” wrote Mircea Eliade, “this possibility of transcendence is expressed by various images of an opening; here, in the sacred enclosure, communication with the gods is made possible; hence there must be a door to the world above, by which the gods can descend to earth and man can symbolically ascend to heaven. We shall soon see,” he continues, “that this was the case in many religions; properly speaking, the temple constitutes an opening in the upward direction and ensures communication with the world of the gods,” for “Every sacred space implies a hierophany, an irruption of the sacred that results in detaching a territory from the surrounding cosmic milieu and making it qualitatively different.”He contended that temples do this in three ways: “(a) holy sites and sanctuaries are believed to be situated at the center of the world; (b) temples are replicas of the cosmic mountain and hence constitute the preeminent ‘link’ between earth and heaven; the foundations of temples descend deep into the lower regions.” “There is a break in plane,” he writes, “between the tehom and the rock of the Temple that blocks its mouth, passage from the virtual to the formal, from death to life,” from “the larval modality of existence” to true cosmos. Indeed, the temple is the “sanctified image” of the universe, and therefore “[t]he transcendent models of temples enjoy a spiritual, incorruptible celestial existence.” At least if one reads the way that ancient people mythologized and philosophized about their temples, in art and text, Eliade is surely right. Temples are earthly palaces of the divine; they symbolize the universe at large, but provide special vertical access to the heavens above, where the gods reside in their own celestial homes; they signify divine victory over the powers of chaos that once dominated the earth and were dispelled by the regnal, creative divinities. Their iconographic depictions, then, of the universe are microcosmic celebrations of what the gods accomplished in the mythic past and continue to accomplish in the ongoing liturgy, served by their priests who skew as close as possible to the divine life for the duration of their service.
But temples in the ancient world were more than centers for what we think of as “religion”; they were central hubs of politics, economics, culture. Kings built them as symbols of royal power; public do-gooders subsidized the building and repair of shrines and sanctuaries as a fulfillment of the dues to generosity their wealth required and for the cultivation of public fame; when military leaders visited or conquered new cities, honoring the gods of the city, sometimes by rebuilding a destroyed sanctuary, was an essential responsibility for maintaining good relations. For the majority of people, whose lives were filled with dirt, mud, sweat, blood, and less savory bodily fluids, the ritual cleanliness of a temple, the rest from labor that sacrificial worship and festival logically required, and the time spent together with family and friends was a punctuated highlight of one’s weeks, months, years, life. But conversely, most of their religious life happened outside of temples, in other public, rural, and domestic spaces. Libations at symposia and convivia, prayers to the household lares and penates, tending to the hearth, and invoking gods upon leaving and returning home, in oaths and business transactions, in friendship and glee, in lament and sorrow, in battle and in government proceedings, were all more regular means of interaction with the divine in daily life. Temples represented a specific, specialized, but pivotal form of religiosity, in which rather than seeking to call the divine into one’s own life, one left the ordinary space of one’s life to go to the divine.
It is possible but uncertain that temples are among the first architecture we possess in human history; Gobekli Tepe may be a temple, as Karl Schmidt famously argued, but new evidence suggests that we are looking at more than merely a temple in the site. But nevertheless, the sanctification of space for ritual use is at the core of our earliest prehistoric human civilizations, and possibly even the societies of pre-sapien human civilizations; the examples that survive from antiquity (for clarity, everything from the first instance of written language around 3000 BCE to roughly the rise of Islam in the mid 7th c. CE) and the middle ages (the 7th c. to 1500 CE) are numerous, diffuse, complex, and often breathtaking structures, witnessing a religious world that is largely lost on many moderns. The remains of the temples of Hatshepsut, Amada, and Luxor in Egypt, of the Achaemenid temple in Persepolis, the surviving structures of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Ming-era Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and many more are rightly regarded as world cultural treasures, some of them no longer living places of worship, but others still functioning centers of religious activity, sometimes by succession of religions. Angkor Wat was built to worship brahmanic deities, but it is now a Buddhist monastery; the retaining wall of har haBayit or Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem was built to hold Herod’s renovated Second Temple complex, but it now houses a mosque by that name in Arabic and the Dome of the Rock. The sanctification of space often outlives or cycles through multiple religious identities in its lifetime; one need only go to Rome and see the chunks of pagan temples adopted for use in the architecture of the churches there or in Greece, read about the history of sites we associate purely with their classical significance but which continued to function through Christian and Muslim rule (like the Parthenon), or visit the Holy Land, where the tombs of biblical patriarchs and prophets are shared and contested between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
It is typically difficult for modern Jews and Christians to fully grasp what Judaism was like in the Second Temple period, with the standing Temple functioning as the center of gravity in Jewish consciousness around which all Jewish diversity, geographic, cultural, linguistic, halakhic, and theological constellated. Tens of thousands of people would have been in the Temple on a daily basis for work, priesting, prayer, discussion, possibly reading and study (assuming the Temple had a library), guard duty, music practice and performance, acolyte labor, accounting work, money trading, animal selling and wrangling, deliveries and trash pickup, janitorial tasks, and more. Sensorially, it would have been a very loud place, between mumbled prayers in numerous Mediterranean and Near Eastern languages (predominantly Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek, but probably also some Latin, together with other local tongues of passing pilgrims), said by the mouths of Palestinian and Diaspora Jews, the instrumentation of the Temple orchestra, the resonating chant of the Temple choirs, the bleating of beasts as they were led and ritually slaughtered on the altar in the court of priests, the sound of roaring fires licking their flesh and sizzling in braziers, the tumult of footsteps as people moved from one end of the enormous complex to the other, the jingling of armor on the Temple guardsmen (and perhaps the occasional Roman soldier), the ordinary sounds of wind and weather passing overhead. It would have been hot, with the vital breath of so many bodies gathered together, human and animal, and so many fires; incense strove with the smell of burning meat and, one assumes, animal dung to preserve some kind of olefactory sanctity. Priests were accorded some portion of sacrifice, and so for them some gustatory relief at breaks in their service would have been available; families would either also have to find a place to eat their sacrifice in the Temple courts or would have to take it back with them for consumption (but how to transport cooked meat out of a fortified complex with so many people filtering in and out safely?).
Visually, the Temple was arguably one of the most beautiful buildings of the Roman world in its day; at least, “Herod’s Temple should have been one of the wonders of the ancient world, and perhaps not number eight on the list.”Indeed, “Like Herod himself, Herod’s Temple was a synthesis of Graeco-Roman and indigenous elements on a scale meant to dwarf Solomon’s Temple and to be remembered forever. It is seldom appreciated by non-Jews that the sense of loss Jews felt after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE was not just because of the elimination of the sacrificial center of their ancestral religion. It was also because of the spectacular building that was destroyed: a home of unique grandeur and beauty, a house designed and built to be worthy of their one and only god.“ Blue, yellow, and white marble gave the impression of “the waves of the sea” to those gazing at habayit, “the House” of God (most people, since the kohanim were the only ones allowed inside). The ornate blending of Near Eastern and Greco-Roman architecture throughout the entire complex, boasting colonnades, stoas, marble, Corinthian columns, cedar, wood-carvings, and mosaics, must surely have been a destination of aesthetic tourism as much as religious pilgrimage for Jews and non-Jews alike. Contemporary scholars often focus on questions of what was going on in the liturgical cult, and Christians love curiosities like the emptiness of the Holy of Holies in comparison to the Ark-and-Tabernacle containing First Temple; but for most people, most of the time, what the priests were actually doing and what was going on in the inner sancta of the Temple itself were fairly irrelevant to one’s own experience of the complex. In the house of Israel’s divine Father, there were many mansions (Jn 14:2).
In many ways, Herod’s Temple could claim to be the “house of prayer for all the nations” (Isa 56:7) that Trito-Isaiah had foreseen. Its layout afforded the most space for the Court of Nations: an area for gentiles to worship Israel’s God. They also had their own temples scattered throughout Herod’s kingdom: Herod built or financed numerous temples for Greek and Roman gods in the gentile-majority cities of his kingdom (like, for example, Caesarea), and he was benefactor of pagan temples abroad in the Mediterranean (like for the Temple of Apollo on Rhodes, which he paid to be rebuilt when it burnt down). Herod was conscious of two fundamental facts about religion and culture in his day: first, that Jewish distinctiveness could only be preserved through negotiated participation in Hellenism and the Roman oikoumene; second, that Hellenization and Romanization were here to stay, would be coming in greater force, and Judea could either be a player or a victim. His goal was very much that Judea be a player in the Empire without needlessly offending ordinary notions of Jewishness (though his personal practice seems to have been very much a chameleon-like adaptability to context). And it is telling that, ultimately, the destruction of the Temple he built was the culmination of the breakdown of his model of governing a Jewish state in a cosmopolitan Mediterranean empire.
The Temple was surely a marvel for Jews like Jesus, an artisanal peasant hailing from Galilee and, if all went well, making it to Jerusalem around three times a year for the festivals of Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavu’ot (and more if possible, but likely often less). And for Jesus himself, if the Gospels’ report that he was a tekton (Mk 6:3) is to be believed, the artistry of the Temple would not have been lost on him: walking its porticoes, standing in its porches, gazing upon its archways and architectural marvels, Jesus likely would have been able to spot or at least make an educated guess about some of the methods used to build the place. Could he, his putative father Joseph, and his adelphoi, have been some of the workers on it? By the time of his public ministry, work on the Temple was still ongoing, and had been for 46 years; the sheer size of the workforce required to complete and perfect it shifted the entire economy of Herod’s kingdom and had reverberating aftereffects for years after his death. It is possible, but we are told nothing to this effect in the New Testament, and it seems unlikely that the family would have remained in Nazareth if the primary work was in Jerusalem.
From boyhood to manhood, Jesus went to the Temple to pray and to worship God with animal sacrifices. He would have immersed in mikvot on his way in, observing the standards of ritual purity; he would have either brought or bought an animal in the Temple complex for handoff to the priests at the Court of Men, where Joseph, James, and the like would be with him, while his mother and the women of the family watched from the Court of Women (perhaps a viewing platform on the roof). Extended family relations, throughout Galilee and Judea, and perhaps farther afield from the Diaspora, would perhaps meet them in Jerusalem or pass by them in the Temple; some of these would have only been capable of communicating in Greek, a language Jesus likely knew at least colloquially well enough to get on with such Diaspora acquaintances, cousins, and strangers and Greek neighbors in the land. Perhaps one of these Greek-speaking Jews that Jesus rubbed shoulders with unknowingly at one such pilgrimage was Philo, from Alexandria; perhaps another was Paul of Tarsus.
Not everyone gathered would have approached the ceremony with the same level of information or awareness of the exoteric or esoteric meaning of the rituals. Then as now, some people were more educated than most others, and many would not have cared about discursive or mystical meaning so much as the simple, direct experience of the liturgy and what participation in it was afforded them. In my hypothetical above, where Paul, Philo, and Jesus unknowingly stood in the same crowd for a sacrifice, Philo and Paul may well have had a fairly advanced allegorical take on the cosmic symbolism of the cult; Jesus may have been simply rapt in prayer, content with the concrete fact of the proceedings. In all likelihood people experienced then the same mental noise they do now in religious contexts: a swirl of religious feeling, punctuated by temporary arcane epiphanies and a host of mundane observations, from feelings of physical fatigue, to hunger, to sexual attraction for nearby parties, to daydreams, to random memories, fleeting jokes, and the like. At this early stage, there is much less in the way of catechesis about worshiping God with appropriate kavvanah or cor mundum than there would be in later Jewish, Christian, and Muslim centuries; to worship God with purity meant both to follow ritual protocol and the demands of piety (eusebeia in Greek) and to not be morally decrepit in one’s dealings with others (dikaiosyne). All who could meet these standards, and all who were sufficiently sorry for their errors, could find welcome in God’s house.
Jesus during his public ministry expressed no less piety for the Temple than he would have during his earlier life. Jerusalem was the “city of the great king” (Ps 48; Matt 5:35) because it was where God’s house could be found on earth; Jesus’ protest in the Temple, assuming it actually happened, expresses his veneration for the Temple because his problem is with those corrupting it through dishonest economic exploitation of the poor; to cleanse God’s house implies that one believes it really is God’s house. Did Jesus predict the Temple’s destruction? Scholars here trend more in the direction of seeing the Olivet Discourse in the Synoptic Gospels as a vaticinium ex eventu, suggesting that Jesus himself did not predict the Temple’s destruction but that those who lived through it invented the prophecy to secure their imminentist eschatology. It is worth pointing out that Jesus could have prophesied the Temple’s destruction: he would not have been the first or the only first-century Jew to have done so. Moreover, his prophecy in the Synoptics borrows much more heavily from scriptural texts like Jeremiah than it does from the actual events of the Temple’s destruction as we know them from Josephus; the smoking gun of ex eventu prophecy is usually what the prophecy gets wrong because it has not yet happened at time of composition, as in Daniel’s account of the death of Antiochos IV Epiphanes (pointed out as early as Porphyry). But in any event, even if Jesus did prophesy the Temple’s destruction, this is not the same as Jesus rejecting the Temple’s legitimacy or theoretical importance, anymore than similar prophecies in Jeremiah and Ezekiel signal such about those authors. For Jesus and the tradition he means to evoke, the Temple’s destruction is a matter of covenantal punishment for God’s people in response to sin—in the Synoptics, the sin, apparently, of not heeding Jesus’ warnings of the imminent eschaton.
Paul knows nothing of this prophecy; his undisputed letters have nothing negative whatsoever to say about the Jerusalem Temple. In point of fact, all of two pericopes in the entire New Testament come anywhere close to having something negative to say about it in principle, one in Acts, the other in Hebrews. In context, neither passage comes all the way to saying that either the Temple is illegitimate or that Jesus has replaced it and its cult with something else. In Acts, for example, the apostles frequent the Temple and show reverence for its cult and cultic personnel; Hebrews makes a very specific claim about what in the Temple cult Christ has made obsolete (the Yom Kippur service). The idea that the Temple is obsolete with Christ’s coming is not, then, a New Testament idea: like Rabbinic arguments that prayer replaced sacrifice, Christian succession narratives between Temple and Christ were historical responses to the event of 70 and the failure to rebuild in the late first and throughout the second century that changed the way the NT was read. Not all followers of Jesus in the first few centuries CE, Jewish or non-Jewish, were convinced by Christian narratives of the Temple’s obsolescence or of Judaism’s; the vehemence with which figures like John Chrysostom condemned Christian participation in local synagogues in Antioch witnesses the fact that the full supersessionism of the Fathers had yet to become normative for all Christians everywhere. But it was at least a dominant narrative in the gentile world by the mid-fourth century, when Julian the Apostate considered rebuilding the Jerusalem Temple to undermine Christian claims, knowing from his own catechesis that Christianity’s truth value in the minds of its greatest expositors in the third and fourth centuries depended in no small part on the ruins of the Temple. Yet across the same time period, the Temple was inspiring the transformation of Christian worship in the formation of the hieratic liturgies of the Great Church. While Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper—bracketing for a moment whether this was a singular historical event or a narrative summarizing Jesus’ general meal practices—clearly borrowed language and concepts from the Temple cult, it is not presented in the New Testament as a replacement for that cult: the apostles both broke bread in the common banquet of their sect and went to the Temple for sacrificial services and prayer. The celebrants of the earliest eucharist may have been priests (since many Temple priests are said to have joined the early Jesus Movement), but they did not act as priests (kohanim) in that celebration. As I have argued elsewhere, following Andrew MacGowan and Alistair Stewart, the emergence of a specialized class of cultic officiants for the Christian ritual from the earliest liturgical presidents of local household communities took several centuries. As time went on, the long shadow of the Temple encouraged those officiants, when they did emerge as a fully hieratic clergy, to see themselves as successors to the now defunct priesthood of the long destroyed Temple, and hence the “new” or “true” Levites who, unlike the Levites in the neighboring Jewish community, could still say they had a sacrifice.
This was both chauvinistic and misrepresentative, of course: Rabbis and kohanim could claim to sacrifice with prayer and mitzvot just as readily as Christians could with their “bloodless sacrifice” of the Eucharist, derived from the meal practices of Second Temple-era Jews and gentiles of the early Jesus Movement who had seen the Temple itself. Sometimes, polemics are called for to expose the incoherence, immorality, or stupidity of an idea; when we use them merely against those different from us, it is usually because the difference makes us uncomfortable, but the similarities masked by the difference even more so. Christian anti-Judaism that utilized the rhetoric of the Temple and its cult was largely an exercise in projection and scapegoating around the singular fact that their interpretation of Jewish scripture and religion was novel, counterintuitive, and had less in the way of imperial sanction from the Romans as a more problematic and socially disruptive form of religion than Judaism had ever been. It was also largely an attempt to placate the Romans during a time period when anti-Jewish sentiment was at a high in the wake of the First and Second Revolts (66-74; 132-136 CE). Initially, Rome could not distinguish Christians from Jews; their ability to do so was largely predicated on a self-conscious effort by Christians, in the wake of the chaos following the loss of the Temple (which symbolically, recall, solidified God’s primordial and historical restraint of chaos), to avoid excessive Roman interest and disfavor. It is telling that the Christian rapprochement with Judaism—and recovery of a positive memory of the Temple—has largely taken place in a post-Christendom world.
The beginnings of that post-Christendom world, in fact, are found in the third sister, lately born, from the womb of the Second Temple, or else the first daughter of Christianity who had seen her mother’s face in infancy, namely, Islam. On the scholarly reading of Islamic origins that I largely buy, Muhammad and his movement were a pan-Abrahamic community awaiting an imminent eschaton to irrupt in a returning, messianic Jesus, of whom Muhammad was the herald. But like many Christians within and beyond the borders of the Roman Empire, in the wake of the Christological Controversy of the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, Muhammad’s community held the Empire and its Christianity to be apostate, and its ownership of the Holy Land in particular to be a sign of quasi-pagan captivity in need of divine liberation. It is very possible that, contrary to the traditional sirah, Muhammad was alive in 634, when Muslim armies took Jerusalem; it is probable, too, that the earliest Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount was itself intended as a kind of rebuilt Temple. In one of history’s ongoing ironies, the current Jordanian Waqf authority that oversees the Noble Sanctuary contends that no Jewish Temple ever sat upon the platform that now supports Al-Aqsa, and yet the site is only holy to Muslims at all, in all historical likelihood because it did. The “rebuilt Temple” of the Dome of the Rock—temporarily in the Middle Ages the Catholic Templum Salomonis, a church the Crusaders mistook to have been built in the actual form of Solomon’s Temple itself—has, at this point, stood for roughly 1400 years—longer than both of the Jewish Temples that preceded it and whose legacies its founders sought to continue combined. In some sense, there is a Temple in Jerusalem—but, unlike Herod’s Temple, it is neither a “house of prayer for all nations” nor currently open specifically to those with the oldest claim and investment in the site (the Jews). Every year, more and more Israeli Jews ascend har haBayit and provoke violence by praying on the Mount in legal violation of the status quo concerning the site; their rationales consist in everything from the fairly extreme desire to declare eminent domain, raze the Dome and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the ground, and build a Third Temple to the more modest and respectable desire to have legal rights to pray there. Nationalist, geopolitical, ethnic, and religious stakes make that platform the most contested piece of real estate on earth; Christians, still for the moment a larger group than either Jews or Muslims, tend to vary in their attitudes, from fundamentalist support for anything said or done by the Israeli State and that might hasten an eschatological showdown, to moderate Zionism supportive of the Palestinian cause, to full support for Palestinians and none for Israel, resulting in a situation of mixed support for the prospect of a Third Temple on the one hand and protection of the major Muslim shrine remaining in Jerusalem on the other.
On the one hand, the Temple is the common mother or grandmother of Jews, Christians, and Muslims: she shaped their theology, their practice, their hopes, and their sacred spaces as much by her absence and memory as by her historical presence. And yet, on the other, the mosaic of Abrahamic cultures that were reborn from the fires that took her have yet to come together into something like a common shape or image, a final intelligibility that might show something like the hand of providence stirring two millennia of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim life, lived as though in circumambulation around this hill. So I propose, in the series to follow, to consider the Temple’s memory—in synagogue, kyriakon, and masjid—by way of preface to rumination on the Temple’s futurity, both as an idea and as a physical reality. Perhaps I take this up because, fresh from a long series about Jesus and what Christians have believed about him, I find I still have some energy for the Abrahamic chamber in my heart’s inner cosmic mountain; or perhaps it is because tor around 6 or 7 years now I have dutifully watched the Mount, its wards, and its admirers assume ever greater presence in Israeli and international news, such that I wonder if thinking about the role that this building plays in our cultural consciousness is not soon to be quite necessary. Or perhaps it is because that I find I still want that taste of sanctified space that I got as a young man in temples, and in fact that I can hardly ever have enough of it: perhaps I am starved for it after many years of wandering as an ecclesial exile, and so when I encounter fragments of it in the shuls and churches I know, aspiring but poor kabbalist that I am, I feel the need to try and bring the pieces together, like crumbs of angels’ bread dropped from the table. (There’s a good joke there about being a gentile dog that would have required better setup to be funny.) But in any event, it is to the Temple I wish to go up, and to meet her I shall first have to meet her children.
Continuatum in ascensione secunda.
Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion: The Significance of Religious Myth, Symbolism, and Ritual Within Life and Culture (New York: Harcourt, 1959), 26.
Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 39.
Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 42.
Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane, 59.
Guy Maclean Rogers, For the Freedom of Zion: The Great Revolt of Jews against Romans, 66-74 CE (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022), 67.
Rogers, For the Freedom of Zion, 67-68.
Rogers, For the Freedom of Zion, 67.
How often do you currently visit other religious temples and participate or observe their worship practices? I've often thought of doing that.
Wonderful! I’m looking forward to this very much. I had a similar experience at a Hindu temple when I was in high school, except I was an atheist at the time. Though I tried to dismiss it, it made quite the impression on me. I’ve always tended towards the more ritualistic and elaborate in matters religious. Probably why I became Orthodox. And while I have no fear of change (even to the liturgy) I usually pray that it tends more in the direction of Hindu cultus than of Protestant minimalism.