The Evolution Of Jerusalem As A Sacred Space

1996 Words Apr 13th, 2016 8 Pages
The Evolution of Jerusalem as a Sacred Space The present day Jerusalem is not only a religious center for the three major religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—but also one of the most disputed spaces due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While the city’s religious significance alone attracts enough pilgrims to support its economy, modern Jerusalem prospers with the additional tourists intrigued by the historical landmarks, such as the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock. However, rather than a miracle happened overnight, the social and economic status of Jerusalem was obtained through a process of evolution, parts of which were recorded by the Hebrew Bible. Even though the Bible may be a collection of narratives constructed by the ancient cultures to explain the origins of life, and thus are more mythical than realistic, many biblical accounts are actually based on genuine historic events and can be used for references. In the case of Jerusalem, which was merely a minor Canaanite city-state before the intrusion of the Israelites, the Bible presents evidence that the city, with its suitable geographic characteristics, gradually developed into a sacred place of great political and religious significance over history. In particular, two factors differentiate Jerusalem from the profane space around it: David’s choice to designate the city as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, and Solomon’s construction of the Temple, which housed the Ark of the…
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