The Topography of Symbol: Between Late Antique and Modern Jewish Understanding of Cities

Zeitschrift für Religions- Und Geistesgeschichte 58 (1):16-28 (2006)
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Abstract

This article explores the theological role of cities in Judaism as settings for the mediation between the heavenly and earthly realms. By way of juxtaposing the late antique city of Sepphoris and the modern settlement of Me'ah She'arim in Jerusalem, two understandings of this mediation will be studied dialectically. The differences and similarities between the two communities and their self-representation through urban architecture reveal the ways in which the highest religious symbols are manifested in the life of a city. They also unfold the transformation of modernity and the particular interpretation of a Jewish settlement it inspired.

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