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Photo: Father Antonin Jaussen, O.P. 1924-25 CE. View of the Dome of the Rock from the South, facing north. (​With permission from the Photothèque of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem​.)​

Conference Organizers


Joan R. Branham, Professor of Art History and Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Providence College

Beatrice St. Laurent, Professor of Art History, Bridgewater State University

Fr. Gabriel Pivarnik, O.P., Vice President for Mission and Ministry and Director, Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies, Providence College​​​

​Exhibition curated by: Jamilee Lacy, Director and Curator of Providence College Galleries​


Conference Program:

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Marking the Sacred: ​The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem

June 5-7, 2017

Providence College​​

This collaborative and ecumenical conference provides a common forum f​or leading international scholars to address the history and archaeology of this extraord​inary 35-acre platform and its sacred status. The project seeks to be an agent of dialogue by bringing together diverse scholars in the humanities whose research furthers our understanding of the site and its historical context. Marking the Sacred is an opportunity for experts on the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions to engage in unique and fruitful discussions leading to a scholarly publication that will reach a worldwide academic audience in multiple disciplines.​​

Re​gister Here​​

Program Participants & Presentations

All sessions take place at Providence College

Monday, June 5, 2017

​​Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105

11:30 a​.m. – Registration Table Opens - Ruane Center for the Humanities

1:00 p.m. – Introductions and Welcome

President Brian Shanley, O.P., Providence College

​​Joan Branham, ​Professor of ​Art History, Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Providence College


Moderator: Matthew Adams, Dorot Director, W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem 


1:20-1:55 p.m. - Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism, UNC-Chapel Hill

​​The First and Second Jerusalem Temples: What Evidence Do We Have of Their Existence and Location?

1:55-2:30 p.m. - Robert Ousterhout, Professor of History of Art, Director of the Center for Ancient Studies, University of Pennsylvania​

The Temple, The Temple Mount, and the Byzantine Imaginary

2:30-3:05 p.m. - Sari Nusseibeh, Professor of Philosophy, Al-Quds University

​​​The Haram through the Islamic Lens

3:05-3:45 p.m. – Discussion​


4:15-5:00 p.m. – Introduction to Exhibition​

Fr. Gabriel Pivarnik, O.P., Providence College
Beatrice St. Laurent, Professor of Art History, Bridgewater State University​​​

Images of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/Haram from the Photothèque of the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem

Curator Jamilee Lacy, Providence College

            Introduction to "On the Wall" Exhibition

Shuttles/Walking to Smith Center for the Arts

5:15-7:30 p.m. – Gallery Exhibition and Opening Reception – Reilly Gallery

In the Gallery, Contemporary Artist, Assaf Evron


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105​


Moderator: Michael Satlow, Professor of Judaic Studies and Religious Studies, Brown University 

9:00-9:25 a.m. – Shimon Gibson, Department of History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Invisible and Underground the Temple Mount: Subterranean Spaces, Cisterns, and Wall Foundations based on Archival Sources

9:25-9:50 a.m. – Lawrence Schiffman, Judge Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew & Judaic Studies, New York University

The Mishnaic Description of the Hasmonean Temple Plan

9:50-10:15 a.m. – Joseph Patrich, Professor of Archaeology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem​

Segregating the Sacred: The Inner Court (Azara) and the Grill (Soreg) of the Second Temple and their Gates

10:15-10:40 a.m. – Fr. Dominique-Marie Cabaret, O.P., École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem​

The Structure of the Hasmonean and Herodian Temples Enlightened by Jerusalem's Urbanism

10:40-11:10 a.m. – Discussion  

11:10-11:30 a.m. – COFFEE BREAK


Moderator: Mahri Leonard-Fleckman, Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, Theology, Providence College 

11:30-11:55 a.m. – Ronny Reich, Professor Emeritus, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa & Yuval Baruch, Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist, Israel Antiquities Authority (delivered by Y. Baruch)

Discoveries, Construction, and Function of the Triple and Eastern Gates of the Herodian Temple Mount

11:55-12:20 p.m. – Helena Roth, Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Tel Aviv University

Pilgrims Approaching the Temple Mount at the Time of the Procurators:  Recent Discoveries of Pools, Elite Courts, and Garbage in the 'Lower City'

12:20-12:45 p.m. – Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, Israel Antiquities Authority

​The Temple Mount in the Roman City of Aelia Capitolina

12:45-1:15 p.m. – Discussion  

1:15-2:15 p.m. – LUNCH​ BREAK​


Moderator: Arthur Urbano, Associate Professor of Early Christianity, Theology, Providence College

2:15-2:40 p.m. – Scott Bradbury, Professor of Classical Languages & Literatures, Smith College

The Emperor Julian’s Plan to Rebuild the Temple and Reinstitute Blood Sacrifice on the Temple Mount

2:40-3:05 p.m. – Tracy Thorpe, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Bridgewater State University

The Power of Absence: Why Early Christianity Intentionally Left the Temple Mount in Ruins 

3:05-3:30 p.m. – Jon Seligman, Director of Excavations, Surveys and Research Department, Israel Antiquities Authority, Jerusalem

A Mount without a Temple: Building Byzantine Jerusalem Around the Temple Mount

3:30-4:00 p.m. – Discussion  

4:00-4:20 p.m. – COFFEE BREAK​


Moderator: Paul Crenshaw, Associate Professor of Art History, Providence College

4:20-4:45 p.m. – Yuval Baruch, Jerusalem Regional Archaeologist, Israel Antiquities Authority & Ronny Reich, Professor Emeritus, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa (delivered by Y. Baruch)

Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Platform in Roman and Byzantine Periods: New Archaeological and Historical Evidence

4:45-5:10 p.m. – Yuri Stoyanov, Research Associate, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies

The Temple Mount during the Last Byzantine-Sasanian Great War (603-628) – Controversies and Unresolved Problems

5:10-5:35 p.m. – Joan Branham, Professor of Art History, Associate Dean, School of Arts & Sciences, Providence College

Reimagining the Jerusalem Temple: Paradigms of Appropriation from Dura Europos to the TV Mini-Series ‘DIG'​

5:35 - 6:05 p.m. – Discussion  


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 105​​


Moderator: Sandra Keating, Associate Professor of Theology, Director, Development of Western Civilization, Providence College 

9:00-9:25 a.m. –Beatrice St. Laurent, Professor of Art History, Bridgewater State University

The Dome of the Rock: Mu’awiya’s Vision to Unify the Three Religions of the Book

9:25-9:50 a.m. – Donald Whitcomb, Research Associate of Islamic Archaeology, University of Chicago

The Archaeology of the Diwan in early Islamic Jerusalem

9:50-10:15 a.m. – Stephen J. Shoemaker, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Oregon ​

The Dome of the Rock and Early Islamic Eschatology

10:15-10:45 a.m. –Discussion  

10:45-11:05 a.m. – COFFEE BREAK​


Moderator: Joseph A. Greene, Deputy Director and Curator of the Semitic Museum, Harvard University 

11:05-11:30 a.m. – Naomi Koltun-Fromm, Professor of Religion, Haverford College

Jerusalem Mythologies: Pilgrims and the Dome of the Rock: Naser e Khosraw's reflections on Jerusalem from his Book of Travels

11:30-11:55 a.m. – Jaroslav Folda, Professor Emeritus, Art History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

The Crusader Templum Domini: Fact and Fiction

11:55-12:20 p.m. – Michael Burgoyne, District Architect of Historic Scotland, Edinburgh​

The Development of the Haram by the Mamluks

12:20-12:40 p.m. – Discussion  

12:40-12:50 p.m. – CONCLUDING REMARKS:​​

Joan Branham, ​Professor of Art History, Associate Dean, School of Arts and Sciences  Providence College​​​

​​Beatrice St. Laurent, Professor of Art History, Bridgewater State University​​​​​




Conference sponsors include Providence College's Centennial Committee, School of Arts & Sciences, Center for Catholic and Dominican Studies, Department of Art and Art History, and Department of Theology.  Additional conference sponsorship comes from the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.  Contributors to the exhibition include: The Artis Grant Program, the Office of the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Provost’s Office at Bridgewater State University, the École Biblique et Archéologique Française de Jérusalem, and the Service Bureau at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.​​

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