Gods in Dwellings is the first book devoted exclusively to temples and perceptions of the divine presence that inhabits them in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Hittite Anatolia, and Syria-Palestine. It is thus concerned with official religion and with exploring the interface between human and divine in the major temples of the ancient Near East. Hundley identifies common ancient Near Eastern temple systems and, more particularly, examines such issues as what a temple structure communicates, how it was understood to function, and its ideology; how the divine presence is installed in a temple, often in the form of a cult image; the relationship between deity and image(s); how a deity's presence in the temple, particularly in the cult statue, is related to his or her divine essence and presence elsewhere; and how humanity serves the deity in order to ensure continued presence. This volume collects and synthesizes a vast amount of data, draws on the insights of multiple related disciplines (e.g., architectural and spatial theory, ritual theory, theories of language, art history, archaeology, sociocultural anthropology, and comparative studies) and offers a single interpretive lens through which to view it.
Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History, Religion
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