Popular and Profane Experiences with the Sublime: The Temple as a Social and Cultural Focus in Egypt

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One?s first impression of an Egyptian temple is that it was the exclusive domain of the gods, the king, and the priests.  And yet temples were formally designated as ?places of supplication and hearing the petitions of gods and humans.?  The temple was not irrelevant to daily life; in fact, it was fully integrated into the life of the surrounding community.  This lecture examines human aspects of the Egyptian New Kingdom temple (1570-1070 BCE).  Because of the focus that the temple provided in their lives, the people of Egypt have always been active on its peripheries.  In antiquity they even participated in public processions during annual festivals, when they were introduced into the less restricted courtyards and ceremonial halls of the temple.  In the role of ?congregation,? they took part as both adorers and witnesses to the dramatic success of the important rites conducted there.  In political terms, these festivals constituted symbolic display, staged to reinforce the king?s power and position as head of society.  


Monday, April 16, 2012 - 20:00

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Art Building West, Room 240



Brenda Longfellow