Abstract of Kang, Seung Il. “Creation, Eden, Temple and Mountain: Textual Presentations of Sacred Space in the Hebrew Bible.”

Kang, Seung Il.  “Creation, Eden, Temple and Mountain: Textual Presentations of Sacred Space in the Hebrew Bible.”  PhD diss., The Johns Hopkins University, 2008.  [Israel/Creation/Eden/Mountain/Sacred Space/Theology]

Abstract:  Sacred space has become an important category in the study of religion since the mid-twentieth century, thanks largely to the work of Mircea Eliade. In the field of biblical studies, there is a growing awareness of the importance of sacred space for understanding ancient Israelite religion. Yet, most works treat sacred places primarily from an archaeological perspective. While the importance of archaeology cannot be overemphasized, it is worthwhile to examine how the ancient Israelites conceptualized sacred space and how they articulated in their literature their experience of the divine in a sacred place, that is, the literary and theoretical aspect of sacred space, which has been of relatively little interest to biblical scholars.

Heuristically applying the theories of sacred space as defined by historians of religion, this dissertation examines various facets of literary and conceptualized sacred spaces as represented in the Hebrew Bible. The results of this study demonstrate how the concept of sacred space permeated and shaped ancient Israelite history, religion, and society far more significantly than previously recognized. The phenomenon of sacred space is the fundamental expression of religiosity in spatial dimension. It is central for understanding how the authors of the Hebrew Bible believed they gained access to the divine. Therefore, sacred space should be included among the basic categories of biblical religion, and as such, it deserves to be studied and explored to its fullest.

Full text available online through ProQuest.

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