Why Cover Mary and Christ? They will still be there and here forever. | INFJ Forum

Why Cover Mary and Christ? They will still be there and here forever.

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by just me, Jul 21, 2020.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 2 users.
More threads by just me
  1. just me

    just me GONE

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Threads:
    220
    Messages:
    12,403
    Featured Threads:
    19
    Likes Received:
    7,492
    Trophy Points:
    1,121
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    not here
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    6w5
    Sacred Mysteries: Constantinople’s great church is now a mosque
    [​IMG]
    Christopher Howse
    The TelegraphJuly 20, 2020


    [​IMG]
    Mosaic of the Virgin and Child in the apse of Hagia Sophia - Turgay Koca / Alamy
    July 24, the day we must veil our faces in shops, will see the Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul functioning again as a mosque. But it won’t end there.

    It has been a museum in practice since 1931, when Thomas Whittemore, the American archaeologist, secured the enthusiastic support of Kemal Ataturk to uncover the mosaics of what was then a mosque.

    I don’t like the feel of places of worship turned museums. They are like houses abandoned in war zones: the life has gone from them. This is true of the bare museum of the Galician People in the church of Santo Domingo de Bonaval, in Santiago de Compostela. It is true of the damp shell of the church of Hagia Sophia by the Black Sea at Trebizond, for all the colourful mosaics still there.

    It cannot be denied, though, that Hagia Sophia in Istanbul is wonderful in its three-dimensional form, especially internally. The dome is 100ft wide and rises 182ft above the pavement.

    It was finished in the 530s and (like the Pantheon in Rome) is marvellous for its age as well as for its beauty. In that way it resembles the sixth-century church of Sts Sergius and Bacchus, a few minutes’ walk downhill towards the sea. They were churches for 900 years, and mosques for less than 500.

    The monolithic marble columns and intricately carved capitals (resembling those reused to build the mosque of Cordoba in Spain) cause no distress to Islamic sensibilities. Indeed to a Turkish Muslim, Hagia Sophia looks like a mosque, because mosques adopted the form of Greek churches.

    The shape of Hagia Sophia can be appreciated from one of the wide pillared galleries that cover the aisles each side of the nave. There too (in addition to curiosities such as a Norseman’s carved runes on a baluster) are some of the world’s loveliest mosaics.

    This will be a problem, since Islam condemns graven images. A Turkish spokesman has said that the mosaics can be covered up (perhaps by curtains) during prayers in the mosque, so tourists can see them between times.

    This will be impossible, though, for the 9th-century mosaic of the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus on the half-dome high up in the apse. Hardly visible from the ground are wonderful golden mosaics of figures such as St John Chrysostom, up on the north tympanum. It will be tempting to cover these all the time.

    I was in Hagia Sophia when the authorities were proudly showing off the mosaic face of a seraph newly revealed in 2009 on one of the lofty pendentives – the gusset-like triangles tapering down from the dome where piers support it at four corners. It may be engaging, but I wouldn’t much mind if it was covered up again.

    A worry is that some zealot will want to destroy the mosaic images. This is a fear, too, at St Salvator in Chora, north-west by the Golden Horn, outside the walls of Constantine. Last year a court ruled that it should become a mosque. Whole walls of its interior preserve mosaics and the celebrated fresco of the Anastasis, with Christ pulling Adam and Eve by the wrist from their tombs.

    As for Hagia Sophia, it faces another threat, as it has since its construction: earthquakes – one is overdue. Eastern and western sections of the great dome were rebuilt after earthquakes in the 10th and 14th centuries. Seismic shifts have displaced huge medieval iron ties in the walls. Perhaps the next earthquake will shake loose the plaster that covers the mosaic of the Pantocrator, unseen for centuries, at the summit of the dome, and for a moment reveal its shining gold before the whole thing falls into shards and dust.


    For those who believe the two religions worship one and the same God, why cover the virgin Mary and Christ?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Themis and Pin like this.
  2. OP
    just me

    just me GONE

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Threads:
    220
    Messages:
    12,403
    Featured Threads:
    19
    Likes Received:
    7,492
    Trophy Points:
    1,121
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    not here
    MBTI:
    infj
    Enneagram:
    6w5
    Hagia Sophia: turning this Turkish treasure into a mosque is at odds with its Unesco status
    July 29, 2020 8.11am EDT

    The Hagia Sophia has just opened to receive Sunni Muslim worshippers for the first time since 1931. The decision to convert the building in Istanbul, Turkey from a museum back into a mosque has divided opinion. Many Turkish inhabitants commend the transformation while mostly secular Turkish inhabitants and much of the international community find it inconceivable.

    Strategically located for more than two millennia on the Bosporus between Europe and Asia, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been the site of major religious, political and artistic events in world history.

    The Hagia Sophia, originally a Byzantine church built in the sixth century, and for a short period in the 13th century a Catholic church, was converted into a mosque in 1453. It became a symbol of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul by Mehmed II, also known as the conqueror.

    The building owes its splendour to the Ottoman architect of Armenian origin, Mimar Sinan. Between 1566 and 1574, Mimar Sinan extensively strengthened the Byzantine structure by adding two more minarets, securing its status as a monument that amalgamates symbols of both Christianity and Sunni Islam. This made the building something quite unique in the world.

    [​IMG]
    The interior of the Hagia Sophia when it was a museum. Artur Bogacki/Shutterstock
    The beginning of the end for the Hagia Sophia’s previous period as a mosque came in 1928 when the Amendment of the Turkish constitution defined the relationship between the state and religion. This was followed by the reforms of Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which set up a political grounding of the modern, democratic and secular state. As a result, the Hagia Sophia was closed to worship in 1931. After extensive renovation, in 1934 it was converted into a museum – an act which symbolised Turkey’s secularism.

    However, religious sentiments from both Christian Orthodox and Sunni Islam started to become more prominent at the beginning of the 21st century, with both demanding that the building should be returned to their religious worhsip. In 2006, a small room in the complex was used for prayer for Christian and Muslim employees on the site. In 2007 a Greek-American politician, Christos Spirou, launched an international campaign to restore the Hagia Sophia to a Christian church. Political campaigns both internal and external to Turkey have focused upon who rightfully owns the Hagia Sophia.

    On July 10 2020, Turkey’s administrative court, the council of state, ruled to annul the 1934 decree. Later that day, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed a presidential decree turning the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and opening it as a place of prayer and worship.

    Who does it belong to?
    Converting the Hagia Sophia back into a mosque has very challenging consequences within Turkey but also on a transnational level. The Hagia Sophia is a Unesco World Heritage Site, inscribed as a part of the historic areas of Istanbul in 1985.

    Being a world heritage site ratifies a site as highly prestigious and culturally precious to the territory in which it is located. However, an important question is: to whom does such a site belong? Is it to the nation where it is situated or does its beauty, value and significance go beyond national ownership?

    If named as a world heritage site, it arguably belongs to the whole world. This is a very debatable issue, and may seem controversial, but for those who believe this, the question which comes to the fore is whether the Turkish government has the right to convert the Hagia Sophia and mess with its intangible heritage context such as its legacy of being a museum.

    Many world heritage sites are used in national politics, national branding and promotion. But when this involves linking or indexing these sites to aspects of national and international ideology and identity, one always needs to “other” someone else. There exists an exclusionary aspect to this promotional activity.

    The Taj Mahal, for instance, is often linked with divisions about ownership in the population of India. Is it a Mughal-Islamic monument, or a Hindu monument? It might be argued that in essence, the Taj Mahal supersedes these religious and national extremes. It is a world heritage site with global currency and status.

    [​IMG]
    The Taj Mahal is another heritage site at the centre of conversations of religous ownership. Yury Taranik/Shutterstocl
    In a similar vein, the Hagia Sophia is being used by the Turkish government in the context of the de-secularisation of the country. Reprising its role as a mosque, it has become a symbol of the modern Turkish nation where Turkish flags and the symbols of Sunni Islam are seen hand in hand. This brings the religion and state together.

    Divisions
    Turkey is a state where Sunni Islam dominates, while other denominations, such as Alevism (around 15% to 25% of the population), are silenced and “othered” by this turn towards de-secularisation. With the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, secular Turkish citizens are “othered” as well. The conversion is therefore very challenging in a multi-religious and multi-ideological society.

    It also brings back east-west binaries over the building, where the Christian and secular world is seen as mostly in dismay about the decision and the religious Muslim world is in total acceptance. In sum, this decision has unnecessarily created division.

    Focusing at the national level, secular inhabitants of Istanbul and Turkey fear that the Hagia Sophia will never again be a museum. Given that there seems to be a clear push towards religion in politics in the country, it may be very difficult to achieve. Even if the opposing political forces win in the future, they may never dare to change it back to a museum because religious stability is very fragile and extremely vulnerable in Turkey.

    copied, The Conversation
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Themis likes this.
  3. Themis

    Themis Community Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2020
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    735
    Trophy Points:
    862
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Turkey has unfortunately a dictator in the government.
    Its hard times again for the temple.
    Agia Sofia was always a thorn between Christianity and Islam.
    I have visit the church a few years ago, her beauty is extraordinary
     
    just me likes this.
  4. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Community Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2020
    Threads:
    11
    Messages:
    221
    Featured Threads:
    4
    Likes Received:
    634
    Trophy Points:
    837
    Gender:
    Male
    MBTI:
    Intj
    People think it's a criticism that Christianity absorbed pagan customs, like Christmas trees and certain dates and practices. Contrasting that with religions which obliterate or plaster over other cultures and customs, it actually seems great.
     
Loading...

Share This Page