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Cosmology, Art, And Liturgy

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Chapter Summary

Postbiblical apocryphal literature, the writings of Philo and Josephus, Hekhalot and Merkavah literatures, and rabbinical midrashic tradition all attribute cosmic and theological significance to the Tabernacle and the Temple. This chapter delineates a possible route by which these Jewish sources found their way into the Christian Topography through research on an early Christian liturgical collection known as Apostolic Constitutions, widely believed to have been compiled in Antioch in fourth century. The scholars Kohler, Bousset and Fiensy all find references to Jewish sources in the Apostolic Constitutions? prayers in Books VII and VIII. Schirmann suggested that this influence was attributable to the Jews who joined the early church, becoming Jewish-Christians and bringing their liturgy with them. It can be concluded that the liturgy of Apostolic Constitutions should be considered one of the avenues by which Hellenistic Jewish material found its way to the author and illustrator of the Christian Topography.

Keywords: Antioch; Apostolic Constitutions; Christian liturgical collection; Christian Topography; cosmology; Jewish sources; midrashic tradition



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