Tag: Hagia Sophia

On Hagia Sophia and Spiritual Reclamation

 

Hagia Sophia without the minarets

As of Friday, July 24, 2020, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has been put back into active use as a mosque.  As a Christian, I of course mourn this deeply.  As a historian, however, the move does not surprise me.  Many are the religious sites around the world today that were once worship sites for other deities, for other peoples, and for other mysteries, some barbaric.  That historian in me says we should temper our outrage that the conquerors of a land would choose to make what use of that land that they will, for we have done the same ourselves.  We should be wary of venting too much indignation over the status of a building lost ere Columbus sailed the ocean-blue and started a chain of losses for the peoples who once dwelt where we now live.  In a way, Erdogan was right in his contempt for a foreign opinion on this matter; the Turks rule the roost in Turkey (would that Turkey respected others’ borders and rights as vehemently as he demands for his own country, however, as Cyprus, Syria, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Greece can all attest).

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I guess by now everyone knows about Turkey converting the Hagia Sophia — the great Church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Istanbul — to a mosque. First, let me say that Turkey has every right to do what it wants with its holdings. If it wants to convert the great church to a mosque, they […]

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…from a museum back into a mosque.  At the order, obviously, of Turkey’s Islamist dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal was written by a professor of Islamic history at the University of Oxford. For the record, he understands why this is being done, but doesn’t like it. Preview Open

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On the Loss of Cathedrals

 

Hagia Sophia without the minarets.

On May 28, the guns were silenced, and the troops were given a rest in preparation for the final assault. Inside the city, the besieged inhabitants, knowing that no relief was coming and that they were no longer capable of resisting another determined battery and push, held a holy procession through the city, a procession which ended at the Great Church. There, they all set aside their own sectarian differences and held the liturgy one final time.

Quote of the Day: Faith and Architecture

 

“We did not know where we were, on heaven or on earth.” — Russian Ambassadors upon visiting Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia in 987

A millennium ago, Prince Vladimir was the leader of the Kievan Rus’, the predecessors of the current Russian state. He was a rather nasty fellow, even among pagan autocrats, but he knew the times were changing. If he wanted to keep his newly conquered country unified, he needed to establish some level of civilized culture.

The first step was to decide on a single faith — not the current fractured collection of gods and the occasional monotheist deity. Time for some comparative religion!