Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sorry for another academic post, but it's kind of my life right now...

I should be worried about someone copying my work or ideas, but I think I'm just going to trust my readers.  I feel like sharing my rough (and let that dissuade any who might be tempted to copy) dissertation proposal draft:

"One of the defining aspects of Adversus Judaeos literature is its descriptions of the destruction of the temple as evidence of the delegitimization of post-Christianity Judaism.  However, we see in other writings of the early Church Fathers, in the creation and symbolic use of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and in Christian eschatological expectations a fixation on the temple as a legitimate feature of God’s kingdom on earth.  Despite Adversus Judaeos literature, the Jewish temple cannot be discounted in Christian theology.  I am interested in researching the role and evolution of temple in Christianity, choosing to take my research in one or more of the following possible directions:

       Comparing and contrasting between temple as a legitimate concern for Church Fathers and temple in Adversus Judaeos
       Understanding the fixation on Jerusalem and the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as replacement of/model for the temple
       Analyzing the implications of temple in Christian eschatological expectations
       Connecting the origins of and need for Christian liturgical ritual to the Jewish temple, noticing the curious contrast to Rabbinic Judaism’s post-destruction abandonment of ritual." 

I also feel like saying that the above dissertation topic(s) is a departure from the topic I planned to explore during my time here.  Ever since my trip to UC Berkeley in November, 2009, I had planned to write my thesis on the ways in which Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy sites function as cultural and political symbols for communities in the modern State of Israel.  I still love that topic, but decided to change directions due to the time, language and location constraints of my current degree.  However, I felt a bit sad tonight while listen to Dr. Josef Meri lecturing on "Past, Present and Future Historical Memories: the Impact of Key Texts, Objects and Rituals on Muslim-Jewish Relations" because I realized again how excited these issues make me. Dr. Meri talked about the City, Home, Landscape and Holy Site as repositories of collective memory and areas over which varied religious communities can interact and cooperate.  It is so fascinating to me that places, buildings, cities and objects can hold such meaning for people and communities.  I think my fascination must come from my own feelings of attachment to place.  I feel such a glorious sense of sorrowful nostalgia when I think of my own Rocky Lane, Minnesota, for example. Studying the ways in which that nostalgia triggers emotional and religious response in others, however, will have to wait for another degree...

2 comments:

Paulita said...

i am so impressed that there was only one word in all that i didn't know! :-) seriously, amy, i love reading your thoughts. it triggers the part of my brain that i don't always remember i have. and even if you don't have time to use your favorite topic now, it would always work well for a doctorate. :-)

Jacob & Clarissa said...

Yep, don't have to worry about me copying you. There was way more than one word in there that I didn't understand!

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