Christian religious symbolism and pilgrimage

Authored by: Rebecca Stephens Falcasantos

Routledge Handbook on Jerusalem

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138936935
eBook ISBN: 9781315676517
Adobe ISBN:


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Jerusalem is a place drenched in memory. God’s holy city, the ancestral center of temple cult, and the seat of David, but also the site of Christ’s death and resurrection, Jerusalem is a city located at a tense intersection within Christian narratives. Christians have long wrestled with these memories and embedded sacred history within sections of the city. This chapter focuses on the Christian imposition and manipulation of memory in, around, and about Jerusalem from the earliest moments that we can begin to speak of “Christian memory” to the emergence of the Crusader States in the eleventh century. Memories of the city created a symbolic Jerusalem within Christian exegesis, pilgrimage narratives, and visual art and produced an imaginative homeland and center for theological worlds, however we construe the particulars of those theologies. The resulting landscape, a “Jerusalem of the imagination” as it were, is more totalizing than the actual Jerusalem was for the New Testament and earliest Christian authors.

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