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Jewish And Christian Imaging Of The 'House Of God': A Fourth Century Reflection Of Religious And Historical Polemics

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Chapter Summary

An architectonic image of a temple-like façade appears in many Jewish and Early Christian works of art. In Early Christian art it might symbolize the cultic transformation of the pagan Roman temple to a Christian new House of God and the fulfillment of Jesus prophecy regarding the ruined Jewish Temple. This chapter examines the graphic image of the temple-like edifice in fourth-century art and some of its earlier sources in an attempt to understand its special iconography in reference to the historical, theological, and political events of the period. It also examines the Christian significance of Bethany, the site of Lazarus resurrection, as a substitute for Jerusalem and its Temple. However, from an early stage, Bethany was identified primarily as the locus of Lazarus resurrection, as is manifest in Eusebius Onomastikon and in the description of the traveler from Bordeaux, both written around 430 CE.

Keywords: architectonic image; Bethany; early Christian art; fourth-century art; House of God; Jewish art; Jewish Temple; Lazarus resurrection; temple-like edifice; temple-like façade



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