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A. Lidov:Relics of the Holy Fire, and its Role in the Unification of Eastern Christian Sacred Space
The paper deals with the phenomenon of the Holy Fire, which descends every Great Saturday at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the hierotopical and art historical aspects of this greatest miracle of the Christian world, well documented since the ninth century. It was considered a powerful sign of the Resurrection, the promise of the Second Coming and of the eternal life in the Heavenly Jerusalem. The miracle consisted of the descent of the divine fire from Heaven to the Tomb of Christ through the openings in two domes of the Rotunda Anastasis and of the edicula (koubouklion) of the Holy Sepulchre, which had a special baldachin-shaped construction above the dome for this purpose. The fire 'not made by human hands' kindled lights in the lamps which hang above the Sepulchre. The miraculous fire became the major source of light for Jerusalem and other Christian cities. It seems very significant that the Holy Fire was perceived as a kind of the most important relic, which could be preserved and transferred from Jerusalem to any other place. At those places the Holy Fire created the sacred space of the 'New Jerusalem' revealing an image of the miracle of the Holy Sepulchre in an earthly city and at the same time confirming the reality of the heavenly kingdom. In this paper I will argue that the Miracle of the Holy Fire had a great impact in many realms of Eastern Christian culture including some architectural forms, iconographic motifs and the creation of sacred spaces.
Category: Abstracts | Added by: margalita (18.10.2009)
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