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Miranda Johansson

In the Early Christian art or even the Jewish art, it seems that there largely is focus on humans in relationship to God. This reminds me about earlier art, such as Egyptian artwork, where there is little focus on humanity. Instead, the identity of humans is seen through their relationship with the divine. I also found it interesting that the images of God placed focus on him, with humans around the divine in different story-type settings. For example, in the ZODIAC MOSAIC AT THE BEIT ALPHA SYNAGOGUE, God is in the center and the seasons and zodiacs are all around him in a circle, as if they revolve around the divine.

Even when we see images that not directly include God, they all speak of him indirectly. Each image is about certain individuals who did great things that were believed to have been accomplished through God. We can see this on SYNAGOGUE AT DURA-EUROPOS.

Even in early christian architecture there seems to be a focus on human’s relationship with God. If we look at the layout of CHURCH OF SANTA SABINA, and compare this to the TEMPLE OF SALOMON, both have a special location at the innermost part of the church/temple. In Salomon’s temple, this holy place is divided from the rest of the temple while in the Church of Santa Sabina this holy place is open and connected to the rest of the church. This shows the different beliefs of the two religions regarding how close humans are to God. In Jewish texts, only certain people were allowed to the most holy place, while Christians believed that Jesus made this place available to all people.