Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Temples, Concept in Ancient Times
Molefi Kete Asante
Ancient Africans were the first to dedicate a particular structure and a special place for sacred and spiritual activities. These places have come to be called temples in the Western world. The word temple is derived from the Latin word templum , which is technically a plan or template for a precinct to be reserved for worship. However, prior to the presence of such places in the Roman world, the Africans in Nubia and Kernet established massive structures on even more ancient grounds that were sacred sites, ipet sut , the holiest of the holy. These sacred spaces were called bet neter (bt ntr) or per neter (pr ntr) , meaning “mansion of the god” or “house of the god.” The temple in African religion is devoted to some special activity in a special place based on the historical experiences that occurred at that place. For example, the temple of ...