The Church Of The Kathisma Essay

1040 Words Mar 16th, 2016 null Page
shape, the shrine’s dome was also designed in a way to compete with the domes of Christian churches. According to Armstrong, al-Malik wanted their own dome to challenge the round dome of the Holy Sepulcher on the western hill and the dome of the Church of the Ascension, which “shone so brightly that it was one of the great sights of Jerusalem” when illuminated at night (Armstrong 2005: 237). To ensure that their Muslim building would eventually overshadow those Byzantine churches, al-Malik even employed craftsmen and architects from Byzantium, and many of them may have been Christians (Armstrong 2005: 237).
The Dome’s competition with Christian buildings reveals the rivalry of Islam with Christianity, which highlighted Islam’s argument against Christ. As a newly emerged religion, Islam rejected either the Christian belief of Jesus as the Son of God and awaited Messiah, or the role of Virgin Mary as the “God Bearer” (Avner 2010: 35). The Church of the Kathisma, specifically, was the earliest church in Jerusalem that was dedicated to Virgin Mary, and the Dome of the Rock was therefore constructed with a similar but improved plan to cover up its grandeur (Avner 2010:44). In addition to the Dome’s location and appearance, the interior inscriptions of the Dome clearly state, “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God and His Word, which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him… God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He…

Related Documents