The present volume contains papers presented at a Symposium organized by the international network for the Study of the Reception History of the Bible (SRB) at Åbo Akademi University, November 5th–7th, 2015, in Turku, Finland. The title of the Symposium was “The Religious Role of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions: Concord and Conflict in Historical and Modern Perspectives.” Around the time that the Symposium was held, Professor Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila presented an article in Finnish which dealt with Jerusalem in the Qurʾan. I asked him to write this article in English so that it would be available for a larger scholarly community.
Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions deals with historical, social and theological factors which have influenced the outcome of Jerusalem as the holy place and the transmission of the religious traditions related to this holy place. The central role of Jerusalem as a holy place cannot be understood without the biblical background. The biblical images were adopted, rewritten and modified in later times, in Second Temple Jewish writings and the New Testament, in patristic and Jewish literature and in Islamic traditions. All three monotheistic religions had their own impact on the multifaceted interpretive traditions which help to understand the current religious and political position of Jerusalem in the three Abrahamic faiths. Everyone interested in understanding the spiritual meaning of Jerusalem for the three Abrahamic faiths in religious and political contexts as well as in arts will find many interesting topics in this volume.
Several experts have helped me in the peer-review process of this volume and I want to express my great gratitude to them.
Turku, March 6, 2019