The image of the Temple speaks of a building, of a place of God's heavenly presence, and yet the experience of many Christians has been of God's indwelling in the human heart. In God Dwells with Us, Mary Coloe crosses the centuries through John's Gospel text and plunges into the experience of the Johannine community. Here, readers receive a sense of God's indwelling as promised by Jesus, and how it relates to the symbol of the Temple in the gospel narrative.
In the years after the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, the Johannine community looked to the symbol of the Temple as a key means of expressing its new faith in Jesus. During his lifetime he was the living presence of Israel's God dwelling in history. In the absence of the historical Jesus, the believing community – past, present, and future – continue to be a locus for the divine indwelling and so can truly be called a living Temple.
God Dwells with Us offers a new and consistent perspective on the symbol of the Temple which clarifies the christology of the Fourth Gospel. It establishes a new plot for this gospel – the destroying and raising of the Temple; and shows how this occurs within the text. The chapters provide a new approach to its structure. It is unique in its treatment of John 14:2 where it establishes that the new Temple is the household of believers on earth. It also presents a new interpretation of the Johannine Crucifixion and the scene with Jesus' mother and the Beloved Disciple.
Mary L. Coloe, PBVM, ThD, teaches at the Australian Catholic University at Melbourne.