Temples of Ancient Egypt

Temples of Ancient Egypt

Temples of Ancient Egypt

Temples of Ancient Egypt

Synopsis

Five distinguished scholars here summarize the state of current knowledge about ancient Egyptian temples and the rituals associated with their use. The first volume in English to survey the major types of Egyptian temples from the Old Kingdom to the Roman period, it offers a unique perspective on ritual and its cultural significance. The authors perceive temples as loci for the creative interplay of sacred space and sacred time. They regard as unacceptable the traditional division of the temples into the categories of "mortuary" and "divine", believing that their functions and symbolic representations were, at once, too varied and too intertwined. Both informative to scholars and accessible to students, the book combines descriptions of specific temples with new insights into their development and purposes.

Excerpt

This study of ancient Egyptian temples and rituals complements the exploration of the religious world undertaken in Religion in Ancient Egypt: Gods, Myths, and Personal Practice (Cornell University Press, 1991). Here, as for that book, the catalyst has been the symposium on ancient Egypt sponsored by Charles and Elizabeth Holman and held at Fordham University in New York City. It brought the authors together at the Lincoln Center campus on February 28, 1992, and they have now developed and refined their lectures into the present chapters.

The topic for the 1992 symposium was suggested and promoted by Gerald M. Quinn, the Dean of Fordham's College at Lincoln Center, a classicist, and a dear friend and colleague of Martha and Lanny Bell. In November 1991, Gerry and Martha died in a tragic highway accident. The symposium, at which Lanny lectured, was dedicated to their memory--as is this publication. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.

The authors' intention has been to present in a form accessible to students and scholars alike a summation of current knowledge about ancient Egyptian temples and rituals and an exposition of our individual, specialized understandings and insights. Dieter Arnold, Lanny Bell, and Gerhard Haeny bring to their topics a wealth of field experience at Egypt's temple sites and of expertise in archeology, architecture, and epigraphy. Ragnhild Bjerre Finnestad and I bring to our topics a training and expertise in the field of religious studies that few Egyptologists possess. Several of us also . . .

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