4/2020 English Summary – Jerusalem

Josef Jančovič
Jerusalem and Sion in the Old Testament: Privileged House of God

The study explores geographical and etymological characteristics of Jerusalem and draws out the complex historical-theological profile of the city of God established by the Old Testament writings. Jančovič describes the location and plan of the city as well as its nomenclature reflecting the cen­tral position of Jerusalem in the history of Israel. Then he examines motives and transformations of Zion theology. He follows the development of the idea of God’s presence in Zion, understanding of Zion as the mid-point of the world and related issues, primarily the theme of God’s protection, justice and judgement and their eschatological realisation. The study concludes with the short summary of the New Testament theology of the city of God.

Filip Čapek
The History of Jerusalem and “Solomon’s” Temple in the View of the Old Testament and the Latest Archaeological Discoveries

The study compares knowledge about Jerusalem founded by ancient sources, first of all The Old Testament writings, with the results of current archaeological survey where Evangelical Theological Faculty has participated. Thanks to the new possibilities of modern scientific tools, numerous historical relations could have been gradually specified. The archaeological research presents new data for a more accurate definition of the period when Jerusalem became the significant centre of the Kingdom of Judah as well as for a description of the location and architectural shape of the Temple in Jerusalem and the form of cult practiced within. 

Aleš Weiss
Between Heaven and Earth
Jerusalem of Rabbinic Judaism

The author introduces various views of Jerusalem in the perspective of rabbinic Judaism. He aims to sketch an outline of thematization of Jerusalem primarily founded in the writings of classical rabbinic Judaism, Jewish apocalyptic literature but also Jewish mysticism and philosophy. Discussions about Jerusalem have theological as well as political consequences. The reality of earthly city of Jerusalem has always been infiltrated by religious visions of it. A complete detachment of these levels occurs rarely in Jewish religious literature but together they create one of the most important symbols of Judaism.

Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM
Jerusalem Through the Eyes of Christians

The author states that a Christian meaning of Jerusalem for our times often lose within the current debates about its political and religious future. He thinks that if there is a history of God’s revela­tion, we can as well talk about its geography. Therefor, it seems to be relevant that Christianity has been turning toward Jerusalem as a physical reality in history not only as a spiritual idea. E.g. the event of the Pentecost is the reason why Jerusalem became a symbol of striving for reconciliation and unity as well as a memento of lasting quarrel and division causing disorder and unrest in the city more than in other parts of the world. The church community in Jerusalem has been accepted from the beginning as the mother and up today it is the only place where Christian churches live together. Jerusalem represents a treasure which has always been important for Christians regarding a relation of history and geography, an establishing event and a place as well as a monument and contemporary life.

Mustafa Abu Sway
Islamic Theology of the (Holy) Land

The Islamic theology of land is based upon the Islamic sources, mainly the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. The status of land is explained in terms of its position in the Tawhidic paradigm, or in other words, how it is positioned vis-à-vis the oneness of God. It is God who chooses special times and places and reveals them to humanity. The whole universe is at the service of humanity. Earth at large is the locus for human vicegerency. The earth is one big mosque, a place of prostration and purity. But it is revelation that renders certain lands holier than others. The author goes through the key moments of the creation of Earth, question of its ownership and donation and mainly the status of holiness as it is manifested in Mecca and Medina but also in Jerusalem.  

Do Not Forget Your Arabic Brothers
An Interview with Jakub Szántó – a Senior International Correspondent of Czech Television in the Near East

An interview with a respected Czech journalist describes life and work in the Near East, especially in Israel, a role of religion in the district and a position of Christians in the region.

David Vopřada
Two Jerusalems
Christians of the First Centuries and the City of God

The study examines Jerusalem in the works of selected patristic authors. At the beginning Vopřada answers the question how early Christian generations as ancient believers approached Jerusalem. Then he outlines basic features of spiritual interpretations of Jerusalem in the New Testament and patristic writings. Thus the first part approaches Jerusalem as the historical reality and the second part engages its allegorisation. This historical and theological walk provides an environment for questioning issues important even for Christians today: What do Rome and Jerusalem have in common? Does the church need Jerusalem today? And if she does, how should she relate to it? Should Jerusalem be accepted as the city of God at present times, or should this qualification be reserved for the future and awaited with the Lord’s second coming? 

Martin Bedřich
“Not Even the Sun Has Such a Solid Position On Heaven as Jerusalem Has on Earth”
The Holy City in the Early Modern Imagination

The essay describes a relation between visualisation and the early modern spirituality illustrated on the Old Bohemian edition of map Jerusalem et Suburbia eius. Sicut Tempore Christi Floruit created by Christian Kruik van Adrichem (Christianus Crucius Adrichomius) in 1592. It depicts the functioning of the idealized map of Jerusalem in the context of a contemporary spirituality and its influence on other expressions of spirituality in the baroque literature and material culture. Subsequently it examines some other depictions of Jerusalem in the Czech works of 17th century.

Olivier-Thomas Venard OP
Split Conscience of Catholic in Israel
Theory Doubted by Praxis

A professor of The École Biblique in Jerusalem doesn’t offer a general description of Jewish-Chris­tian interreligious dialogue but a personal insight into the stages of discovering Israel’s specificity by a western catholic. He describes existential troubles of a catholic living in Israel and experiencing bulling by the state, e.g. through the unclearly defined status of Christian communities in the country. Venard criticises the idea that a western man should automatically love and support Israel regarding a guilty conscience or as an expression of antipathy toward Islam. He also writes about theological difficulties. A catholic is theologically interested in a dialogue with the older brothers in faith, but morally attracted to oppressed Palestinians. His conscience experiences a deep conflict. In addition, Orthodox Jews express no interest in any dialogue. Venard comes to the conclusion that Israel today is for a catholic an opportunity to cultivate his spiritual power, inner freedom and Christian hope.