Temple and Tomb: Reimagining the Sacred Buildings of Jerusalem


13.00 - 18.15, Friday 15 March (with registration from 12.30)
09.30 - 17.40, Saturday 16 March (with registration from 09.00)

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London

Temple ChurchThe Temple Church

Speaker(s): Martin Biddle (University of Oxford); Antony Eastmond (The Courtauld Institute of Art); David Ekserdjian (University of Leicester); Eric Fernie (The Courtauld Institute of Art); Jaroslav Folda (University of North Carolina); Michael Gervers (University of Toronto); Robin Griffith-Jones (Temple Church); Nicole Hamonic (University of Tennessee); Cecily Hennessy (Christie’s); Robert Hillenbrand (The University of Edinburgh); Alexei Lidov Lomonosov (Moscow State University); Colin Morris (Southampton University); Colin Morris (University of Southampton); David Park (The Courtauld Institute of Art); David Phillipson (University of Cambridge); Denys Pringle (Cardiff University); John Wilkinson (Jerusalem)

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For further information, email ResearchForumEvents@courtauld.ac.uk or call: 07834 521471

Organised by:
The Rev’d Robin Griffith-Jones (Master of The Temple; and visiting lecturer in Theology, King's College London), Professor Eric Fernie (The Courtauld Institute of Art) and Professor David Park (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

God and humankind had been at one in paradise. The sanctuary of Jerusalem’s Temple, whose decoration recalled Eden, was in Jewish thought the navel of the world, the intersection of heaven and earth.

The Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. The Christian Melito was already writing of Golgotha as the world’s centre by 160 CE. Many more of the Temple’s mythologies – and supposedly of its Solomonic and later artefacts – would be transferred to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built by Constantine and completed in the construction of its Rotunda. Justinian and his panegyrists spoke in their turn of Hagia Sophia as the new Temple.

The Dome of the Rock was probably designed to counter and surpass the Holy Sepulchre of the ‘Christian polytheists’. The Crusaders spoke of Al-Aqsa Mosque as the Temple or Palace of Solomon, and the Dome of the Rock as the Temple of the Lord in which the infant Jesus had been presented to God.

The sanctity and significance of Jerusalem were recreated throughout Christendom in centrally planned churches and architectural motifs, in liturgical forms and in civic myths. In this Forum we study the expressions of the Temple and the Sepulchre in Christian architecture, and medieval devotion – both Christian and Muslim – to the holy places.

The Courtauld Institute of Art and the Temple Church are coming together for their second joint-conference in March 2013. We will again spend time in the Temple’s Round Church, itself one of the grandest recreations of Jerusalem to survive in the West.

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