Discuss the meeting of Sacer and Profanes as illustrated in the architecture and decoration of Christian churches/cathedrals, Jewish synagogues, and Islamic mosques discussed by Soltes in chapter 10 through 14.
Answers must include The Abbey Church of Saint-Denis, the Hagia Sophia (church and mosque), the Dome of the Rock Mosque, and Altneu Synagogue.)
In your answer be sure to include the following words/phrases,
Torah niche, aron, bimah, mihrab and parokhet
Symbols, chi and rho
Cross flanked by creatures
Dome of the Rock
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In this written assignment, Christian, Islamic, and Jewish art will be discussed as it pertains to Soltes’s lectures on the Sacer and Profanus.
Soltes makes an important distinction in his lectures about “sacred” and “profane” art. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic art all have in common the use of art to make a connection between human’s place on earth, the profane, by lifting their hearts to something scared. Holy places, synagogues, mosques, and churches were all made for this purpose, to be a meeting place between heaven and earth.
For Judaism the Torah, the five books of Moses is sacred art, and in a synagogue the Torah niche contains the holy book. The similar details found in archaeological sites of ancient synagogues, can be found still in synagogues, like Altneu Synagogue. In the Prague synagogue, the Altneu, the Aron is there, too, and it is the Torah Ark, the synecdoche of the vessel that held the ten commandments, and the idea of all of Jewish history conjoined in the Jewish architectural of the synagogue as a place of worship. For as Soltes makes the point, the synagogue is the sacred space between the past, and the messianic future of Judaism. The Torah would not be read like any other scroll in the synagogue, but placed on the bimah, the elevated platform for reading from the Prophets, and the first five books of Moses....
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