One of the most extraordinary spaces on earth, Jerusalem's Esplanade has been regarded as sacred for about three millennia. For Judaism, it is the holiest space, where the Solomonic and Herodian Temples once stood and where, in the messianic age, the Temple is to be rebuilt at God's behest. For Christendom, it is the site of the Herodian Temple, which Jesus repeatedly visited, foretelling its destruction and announcing the advent of a new, spiritual worship of God. For Islam, it is the holy space to which the Prophet Muhammad traveled on his mystical Night-Journey and Ascension, and which holds the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque.
Where Heaven and Earth Meet is an unprecedented endeavor. For the first time, an Israeli, a Palestinian, and a Dominican institute of higher learning, all located in Jerusalem, have jointly sponsored a volume dealing with Jerusalem's sacred Esplanade—not only with its monuments, but also with the conflicting emotions they have aroused over the ages and with the passions they ignite today. The book contains eleven articles written by leading experts on the various periods, which add up to an authoritative, up-to-date account of the site's history; as well as five thematic essays, ranging from the site considered as a work of art to its roles in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thought; a photographic dossier; and three personal views by the presidents of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Al-Quds University, as well as by Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini.
Copublished with Yad Ben-Zvi Press
The late Oleg Grabar was Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Grabar's books include Epic Images and Contemporary History: The Illustrations of the Great Mongol Shahnama; The Mediation of Ornament; The Shape of the Holy: Early Islamic Jerusalem; Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Post-Classical World; The Art and Architecture of Islam 650–1250; Mostly Miniatures; and eighty-three articles gathered in four volumes under the title Constructing the Study of Islamic Art.
Benjamin Z. Kedar is Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"Where Heaven and Earth Meet the first-ever volume to be sponsored by Israeli Jewish, Palestinian and Christian research centers in Jerusalem….The result is a lavishly illustrated volume with scholarly but readable essays that, more than putting the sacred esplanade under a microscope, succeed in presenting it in a kaleidoscope."
—Miriam Feinberg Vamosh, Haaretz