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God's Mountain

The Temple Mount in Time, Place, and Memory

Yaron Z. Eliav

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Winner of the Theology and Religious Studies award in the Professional and Scholarly Publishing awards given by the Association of American Publishers
Winner of the 2006 Salo Baron Prize for the Best First Book in Judaic Studies from the American Academy of Jewish Research

This provocative study of Jerusalem's Temple Mount unravels popular scholarly paradigms about the origins of this contested sacred site and its significance in Jewish and Christian traditions. In God's Mountain, Yaron Z. Eliav reconstructs the early story of the Temple Mount, exploring the way the site was developed as a...

Winner of the Theology and Religious Studies award in the Professional and Scholarly Publishing awards given by the Association of American Publishers
Winner of the 2006 Salo Baron Prize for the Best First Book in Judaic Studies from the American Academy of Jewish Research

This provocative study of Jerusalem's Temple Mount unravels popular scholarly paradigms about the origins of this contested sacred site and its significance in Jewish and Christian traditions. In God's Mountain, Yaron Z. Eliav reconstructs the early story of the Temple Mount, exploring the way the site was developed as a physical entity, religious concept, and cultural image. He traces the Temple Mount's origins and investigates its history, explicating the factors that shaped it both physically and conceptually.

Eliav refutes the popular tradition that situates the Temple Mount as a unique sacred space from the earliest days of the history of Israel and the Jewish peopleā€”a sequential development model that begins in the tenth century BCE with Solomon's construction of the First Temple. Instead, he asserts that the Temple Mount emerged as a sacred space in Jewish and early Christian consciousness hundreds of years later, toward the close of the Second Temple era in the first century CE. Eliav pinpoints three defining moments in the Temple Mount's physical history: King Herod's dramatic enlargement of the mountain at the end of the first century BCE, the temple's destruction by the Roman emperor Titus in 70 CE, and Hadrian's actions in Jerusalem sixty years later.

This new chronology provides the framework for a fresh consideration of the literary and archeological evidence, as well as new understandings of the religious and social dynamics that shaped the image of the Temple Mount as a sacred space for Jews and Christians.

Reviews

Reviews

Eliav uses his impressive knowledge of Talmud, the Bible, archeology, languages, rabbinic texts, the classics and patristic literature to debunk the notion that the Temple Mount was a sacred space for ancient Jews and Christians. According to him, it did not achieve this status until long after the Second Temple was destroyed. In a dazzling display of erudition, he supports his thesis by providing new readings of familiar sources and by citing many little-known references.

Readable and well illustrated and documented, this book is recommended for religion and seminary collections of all stripes.

Eliav writes in a clear style that makes it accessible to most readers. Highly recommended.

This is a wide-ranging book on a fascinating topic. Its main thesis is that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem became an important concept invested with religious significance only after the Temple had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

All readers will be rewarded by Eliav's judicious insights, his nuanced reinterpretations, and his wide-ranging scholarship.

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Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
392
ISBN
9780801891069
Illustration Description
23 halftones, 6 line drawings
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
A Note on Translation and Transliteration
Introduction
1. Transmuting Realities: From David to Herod, From Micah to Josephus
2. Locus Memoriae: The Temple Mount and the Early

List of Illustrations
Preface
A Note on Translation and Transliteration
Introduction
1. Transmuting Realities: From David to Herod, From Micah to Josephus
2. Locus Memoriae: The Temple Mount and the Early Followers of Jesus and James
3. Delusive Landscapes: From Jerusalem to Aelia
4. A Lively Ruin: The Temple Mount in Byzantine Jerusalem
5. The New Mountain in Christian Homiletics
6. The Temple Mount, the Rabbis, and the Poetics of Memory
Afterword: A Mount without a Temple
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Primary Sources
Scholarly Works
Index of Ancient Citations
General Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Yaron Z. Eliav, Ph.D.

Yaron Z. Eliav is the Jean and Samuel Frankel Associate Professor for Rabbinic Literature at the University of Michigan.
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