On Space, Power, and Ancient Evidence
As an introduction to the book’s themes, Chapter 1 examines the foreign architectural style attributed to Solomon’s building projects in 1 Kings 5–8. The chapter shows how Solomon’s use of an imported style in the construction of his temple was not incidental to his politics nor a mere narrative quirk. Rather, his use of foreign architecture is consistent with the exclusionary strategy of power attributed to him throughout the book of Kings. This chapter also provides a larger context for understanding the book’s arguments by noting conversations about space and power taking place across the humanities and social sciences. It pays particular attention to the work of Henri Lefebvre. Finally, the chapter introduces the general reader to some of the challenges of working with ancient evidence, especially the books of Samuel and Kings.
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