Religion Past and Present

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Stones, Sacred
(381 words)

[German Version]

Stones of all kinds, from large rocks to precious stones, can play a concrete or metaphorical role in religion. In many religions, stones – unhewn or finished, individually or in groups, piled loosely or installed permanently – mark a site endowed with special power, often a cult site recalling an event in which this power was once revealed and where it is now worshiped. In the case of ancient Israel and its neighbors, this use of stones is well attested both in the Tanakh and archaeologically. The Jews ground the tradition of their destroyed temple (II, 4) on the rock in …

Cite this page
Kraatz, Martin, “Stones, Sacred”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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