The Once and Future Temple, Part I

Why do Christian depictions of the Jewish Temple look like the Dome of the Rock, the 7th-century Muslim structure built on that site?

July 30, 2020 | Marc Michael Epstein
About the author: Marc Michael Epstein is professor of religion and visual culture and director of Jewish studies at Vassar College. He is the author of, among other books, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination (2011) and Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts (2015).

A stereo card of the Dome of the Rock from the late 19th century. Wikipedia.

This is part one of a two-part essay on the depiction of the Temples in Jerusalem in art made primarily for Christians. Part two, focused on specific examples of concepts outlined in part one, is here.

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