Jerusalem is the Holy City for three major faiths and looked to as a city for pilgrimage by millions of people: Christians, Jews and Muslims. The first half of our pre-eminent inter-faith seminar for the year will comprise an outline by outstanding speakers from each faith on why Jerusalem is so important to them and to us. Then there will be question time, chaired by Bishop John Bayton.
The Jewish Temple
We now have a fairly good idea of the appearance and size of the Temple. This, of course, is the "third" Temple: the one built by Herod, and destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 and again in 135. Rabbi Levi's talk will be illustrated with artefacts from 2000 years ago.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque
Jerusalem is a very venerable dear city to all Muslims, because there are firm historical facts and religious ideologies which solidify the ties between this sanctified city and the hearts of millions of Muslims.
According to the documents of the dawn of history, it was an Arabian city, which held a very important position. Jerusalem is the home of Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Allah Glory be to His Name has mentioned in the Holy Quran. Allah took his prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him) for a journey by night from the sacred Mosque in Makkah or Mecca to the farthest Mosque, Al-Aqsa.
Jerusalem: the Centre of the Universe
Jerusalem is said by the mythmakers to be the centre of the universe. It is certainly the locus and focus of devotion for the peoples of the three Abrahamic faiths. In his segment, Bishop Bayton will look at the Christian holy sites of Jerusalem, particularly the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is spiritual home to Latins, Orthodox, Orientals, Anglicans and Protestants. He will consider the question "How will indigenous Christianity survive in Jerusalem in the twenty-first century?"