aesthetic, ritual, temple, ancient Israel, color


I n recent years, there has been a growing understanding that ritual and ritual environments are not only platforms for symbolic understanding but also structures that have physiological effect as well.1 The physiological effects on the senses, whether consciously perceived or not, add to the overall religious experience. If this is the case, the aesthetics, or the recognition of the sensual effects, is also important. With that in mind, I’d like to suggest that a visual aesthetic played a role in the Israelite cultic experience. More specifically, that a pleasing visual aesthetic as demonstrated in the presentation of color and light in clothing was deliberately and explicitly a part of the ritual experience and functioned to facilitate the interaction between the divine and mortal realms.

Original Publication Citation

The Temple Ancient & Restored: Proceedings of the Second Interpreter Matthew B. Brown Memorial Conference "The Temple on Mount Zion" 25 October 2014

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor