The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Keys to the Garden

I am pretty sure that the professor Sean Anthony knows I exist; I haven't mailed him or met him, but some years ago I once kinda/sorta called him out on Amazon (in a good way!). On that topic I wonder if he's read House of War.

Part of House of War's theme was the notion of a four-to-eight sided vestibule erected around the Believer, with Gates to Paradise on the sides. The book argued that the Dome of the Rock, and probably the Ka'ba as well, had modeled this fantasy. Toward the end of the writing-process, back in late summer 2012, I threw in an appendix musing about "The Keys to Paradise are Swords". What I'd done - because no-one at the time was doing it for me - was to link that "Keys" slogan with that garbled Jewish-Christian hadith from the Doctrina Jacobi. And still, I didn't much care about the keys. What interested me were their gates. So this essay was a glorified footnote, with little by way of argument.

Sean Anthony has now dealt with the keys, with (much) more care to detail: MuḼammad, the Keys to Paradise, and the Doctrina Iacobi: A Late Antique Puzzle. Really this buttresses that whole essay I did. Wish I'd had it at the time!


posted by Zimri on 17:29 | link | 0 comments

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