Jerusalem Lectures - Jerusalem Lectures Office Hours...

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Jerusalem Lectures Office Hours Wednesday 3:30-6:30pm in Humanities 349 Grading: Terms and Class Activities 10% Midterm Exam 10% Final Exam 10% Paper #1 30% Draft 10% Final 20% Final Paper 40% Draft 15% Final 25% Lecture 1 - Week 1 - 3/28/2016 Goals of the Course This course will survey the cultural history of Jerusalem over three millennia, primarily as the symbolic focus of three faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Week 1: Jerusalem as Religious Space Goals of Today Get oriented with physical space of Jerusalem Reflect upon the many meanings of the valleys, mountains, and the water source in the city Consider the ways in which the city also has a “sacred” geography Jerusalem: At the Center of the World? Small space but VERY IMPORTANT - crossroads “The Fertile Crescent” - The Levant Egypt Babylonia Assyria Mesopotamia Lots of stories occur in high places Old city - 4 main quarters: Muslim Quarter (Eastern Jerusalem - primarily Palestinian - Dome of the Rock) Christian Quarter (Church of the Holy Sepulcher)
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Armenian Quarter (smallest) Jewish Quarter (always under renovation) Local Geography Jerusalem’s Topography Hills: Easter Hill (Ridge) - City of David, Temple Mount (focal point of Jerusalem) Western Hill (Ridge) Mt. of Olives - site of Christian pilgrimage - sites commemorating events in Jesus’s life (Garden of Gethsemane) - associated with the Apocalypse Sacred Geography Interchange of mountains and valleys surrounding the city suggest illustrations of some of the central tenets or beliefs of the three religions that grew around the city Mountains: revelation Valleys: death, judgment, hell Water source: life, paradise, Eden, etc. Jerusalem as a Microcosm: Heaven and Hell? Hinnom Valley & Kieron Valley: Scary places Burning Children in the Hinnom - Gehedra Gihon Spring & City of David - only water source - Jerusalem is good place for city because of two hills (defense) and water Not particularly impressive, but features in creation stories - one of the four great rivers flowing out of Eden EVEN THOUGH it’s tiny (equivalent to Tigris and Euphrates) KNOW THE GEOGRAPHY Understanding Religious Space as a Process “Profane” (mundane, ordinary) vs “sacred” (set apart) Thomas Tweed’s work as lens to consider the religious spaces in Jerusalem as: 1) differentiated 2) kinetic 3) interrelated 4) generative Emile Durkheim Elementary Forms of Religion Division between sacred and profane realms “religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden” “…sacred things are simply collective ideals that have fixed themselves on material objects” Mircea Eliade Builds on Durkheim’s distinction between sacred and profane
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What characterizes the sacred realm?
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