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?

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

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

Observation
July 30 2020
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).


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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More about: Arts & Culture, History & Ideas, Jerusalem, Religious art, Second Temple, Temple Mount