Christian Symbols, Ancient Roots
Release Date:01 Jan 1997
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Christian Symbols, Ancient Roots

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Ancient peoples articulated and made sense of their lives through the powerful world of symbol, and Christianity absorbed such symbols as blood, corn, fire and water, adding new dimensions of meaning to each one.

By medieval times, these symbols provided access to a many-levelled world in which pagan and Christian truths shed light upon each other. During the Age of Reason, the language of symbol was spoken less, and now that symbols are valued once again, Christians often fear to reconnect religious symbols with their ancient roots. As a result the symbol world of modern Christians is often a pale shadow of the world their forebears inhabited.

This book selects dominant Christian symbols and places them against the archaic background from which they grew, drawing on myths and rituals of both ancient and contemporary cultures, thereby integrating the worlds of symbol and reality, sacred and secular, myth and history.

Sr Elizabeth Rees MA (Oxon) spent four years in a Benedictine monastery and studied sacred arts in New Mexico. For ten years she directed summer schools in Worship and the Arts in England and the USA. She is a Roman Catholic nun.
Foreword. 1. Introduction. The Ancient Roots of Christian Symbols. 2. Corn, The Bread of Life. 3. Water and Blood; The Ark of Safety. 4. The Snake in Paradise Lost and Regained. 5. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Cross. 6. Sun and Moon; Fire and Light. 7. Symbols of Jesus and Mary in Art. 8. Priest and Shaman: Holy Leaders. 9. Chant and Incantation: Sacred Song. 10. The Dance of Heaven and Earth. Appendix. Bibliography.
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