Temples Come and Temples Go
Descending the Cairo Side – a novel of the traveling life
Available as an e-book on Amazon.com
Religious wars have dominated human affairs ever since people first discovered the intricacies of faith. The victors in these wars typically build their new and improved structures over the foundations of the old. A debate exists over why this is so. Some say, sensibly, that tearing down the loser’s house of worship and replacing it with the winner’s version is a cool demonstration about who exactly won the last skirmish.
1) A classic example of “winner takes all” – the Cathedral in Mexico City, former site of the principal Aztec temple. On this occasion, at least, the victors replaced a dreadful culture of bloodlust with something a bit more humane
The New Age types counter with an interesting concept, that sacred ground, once recognized as such, will be used over and over again, its inherent sacredness determining the usage.
2) The Duomo in Ancona, Italy: here a Christian church stands on the site of a Roman temple to Venus
For whatever reason, this rule almost seems to be hardwired into human behavior.
3) A nice twist: in the Nile Delta of Egypt, a Greco-Roman temple obscures the pharaonic ruins underneath. Photo by Ken and Peg Herring