Chapter

Scholarly Pilgrims: Antiquarian Visions of the Holy Land

Adam G. Beaver

in Sacred History

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199594795
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741494 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594795.003.0013
Scholarly Pilgrims: Antiquarian Visions of the Holy Land

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In an effort to explore the complex relationship between religious devotion and critical research within the larger field of historia sacra, this essay aims to understand the symbiosis of antiquarian innovation and pious tradition that characterized Renaissance reconstructions of the Holy Land. It first sketches the outlines of early modern scholarship on the Holy Land, and subsequently draws a pointed comparison between the secular antiquarianism usually associated with the Renaissance and the practices and preoccupations unique to those scholars who focused on the biblical Near East. What such comparisons ultimately reveal is that the Renaissance’s Holy Land was neither entirely ‘medieval’ nor entirely ‘modern’. Though Renaissance scholarship yielded a more vivid and compelling vision of the Christian Holy Land of antiquity, it was still — as it had been for centuries, and continued to be for centuries after — constructed largely out of information drawn from the pilgrimage tradition.

Keywords: antiquarianism; archaeology; Holy Land; Jerusalem; Levant; Near East; Orientalism; pilgrimage; Renaissance

Chapter.  7864 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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