Selling Jerusalem: Relics, Replicas, Theme Parks

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University of Chicago Press, Aug 15, 2006 - Architecture - 272 pages
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Jerusalem currently stands at the center of a violent controversy that threatens the stability of both the Middle East and the world. This volatility, observes Annabel Jane Wharton, is only the most recent manifestation of a centuries-old obsession with the control of the Holy City—military occupation and pilgrimage being two familiar forms of “ownership.” Wharton makes the innovative argument here that the West has also sought to possess Jerusalem by acquiring its representations.

From relics of the True Cross and Templar replicas of the Holy Sepulchre to Franciscan recreations of the Passion to nineteenth-century mass-produced prints and contemporary theme parks, Wharton describes the evolving forms by which the city has been possessed in the West. She also maps those changing embodiments of the Holy City against shifts in the western market. From the gift-and-barter economy of the early Middle Ages to contemporary globalization, both money and the representations of Jerusalem have become progressively incorporeal, abstract, illusionistic, and virtual.

Selling Jerusalem offers a penetrating introduction to the explosive combination of piety and capital at work in religious objects and global politics. It is sure to interest students and scholars of art history, economic history, popular culture, religion, and architecture, as well as those who want to better understand Jerusalem’s problematic place in history.
 

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Contents

Fragmented Jerusalem City as Gift
9
Replicated Jerusalem Temple Templars and Primitive Accumulation
49
Fabricated Jerusalem Franciscans and Pious Mountains
97
Mechanically Reproduced Jerusalem Entrepreneurs and Tourists
145
Spectacularized Jerusalem Imperialism Globalization and the Holy Land as Theme Park
189
Illusion and Immateriality
233
Bibliography
239
Index
267
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About the author (2006)

Annabel Jane Wharton is the William B. Hamilton Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for Art History at Duke University. She edits the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and has written several books, among them Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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