Title Background

Tower and Tabernacle: The Architecture of Heaven and the Language of Dwelling with / in God in the B-Text of <i>Piers Plowman</i>

Tower and Tabernacle: The Architecture of Heaven and the Language of Dwelling with / in God in the B-Text of Piers Plowman

Of the two architectural images used in PPl for heaven, that of the tower was understood as a high structure suggesting spatial enclosure and defense; its situation in the east and “heigh to the sun” suggests the literal orientation of towered churches from which sinners could glimpse the heavenly kingdom and, more metaphorically, enjoy a symbolic orientation to Christ the “Sun of Justice.” The words “Tru├że is ├żerinne” invoke Psalm 60, where God is “a tower of strength against the face of the enemy.” The other image, the tabernaculum, derives from Psalm 14:1 (cf. B.2.38-39; 3.234a-36; 7.52a; and 13.126-27). Medieval commentaries interpret tabernaculum as church and as God, particularly relevant since PPl often uses the language of indwelling, as in 5.486b and 9.65a (cf. I John 4:16), where the loving person is said to dwell in God, and God in the person.

Volume

Frantzen, ed., Four Last Things. 99-110.

Cross Reference

32364

Author

Davlin, Mary Clemente