- Colin Burke
- August 25, 2013 - 22:53
Thnak you, Mr. Power, for the extra information. I had been aware of the cross only as an instrument of crucifixion, in which capacity it still seems to me to represent the triumph of violence. I still don't know whether in addition to being a popular symbol it was used for practical purposes other than crucifixion, which might confer on it in the minds of many the most significant kind of "symbolicity." If Christianity were indeed ony a myth it would yet seem to have embodied somehow the notion of a virtue or condition of which the practice or experience is worth an agonizing death. That pre-Christian myths which might have been seen as serving such a reality have largely been found to be false may be due to mankind's having found Christianity even more to the purpose: worth believing in until conclusively proven false, as no one has yet to my own satisfaction proven it to be. Buddhism and Hinduism seem to survive equally well for much the same reason, except that Hinduism might seem not to be so compatible with purely rational philosophy while the Buddhist teaching that almost everything is the same as everything else and there are no particular things in existence, seems to me to be quite compatible with the philosophic materialism which appears logically to deny the validity of philosophy itself. Reason itself cannot prove any religion to be true, except so far as the faculty called understanding sees a religion as worth following and does not yet see that its doctrines are opposed to the nature of that faculty. (I have a notion that some people accept some forms of Buddhism less because they believe these objectively true than because they find their methods "get results" in the way of self-approval. Some seem to think it's better just to be able to see truth than actually to see it and be obliged to behave accordingly. "Being enlightened" seems to mean having light enough to see by rather than actually seeing anything that might actually be there.)
- Ed Power
- August 23, 2013 - 20:12
You are correct, Mr. Burke, in stating that the cross "wasn't always a Christian symbol". The cross is one of the oldest symbols in the world and has appeared in Asian, Egyptian, European, American and Indian cultures since the dawn of history. The earliest representations date back to the Solar and Wheel crosses found in Neolithic rock carvings and cave drawings. The Swastika cross of ancient India, the Tau and Ankh crosses of Egypt and the Greek and Coptic crosses all pre-date the Christian era. The pre-Christian cross did not, as you state, represent "the triumph of the violence Ms. Walsh deplores" - it represented the sun, the four cardinal points on the compass, a marker for sacred water sites, fertility as a phallic symbol and female fertility (as represented in the ankh). The practice of crucifixion or impalement also pre-dates the Christian era, and was used in various forms by the Persians, Carthaginians, Macedonians and Romans. The Greeks were opposed to the practice, but the historian Herodotus did describe the execution of a Persian general (479 BCE) by the Athenians where "They nailed him to a plank and hung him up...this Artayctes, who suffered death by crucifixion." The practice was more common in Roman times, but as it was considered a shameful and disgraceful way to die, it was reserved for slaves, pirates and enemies of the state. Only in the later Christian mythology of Jesus and the Resurrection did the cross become associated with extreme violence and "the triumph of endurance and defiance of violence".
- August 23, 2013 - 18:10
There always seems to be someone trying to change the way we live.WHY
- Ron Tizzard
- August 28, 2013 - 07:25
Sealcove, I think you are absolutely right i.e. people trying share with/tell us how to live our 'very own' lives, in this instance, moreso our spiritual lives. Our very grounded personal lives are governed by black and white laws; while our spiritual lives are very personal; we sink or swim in various ways according to our own interpretations of 'Spirituality', Faiths and associated creeds. Faith is very personal and very spiritual. Colin , Sealcove you both need to take a deep breath and step back from interpretations of other peoples strengths and weaknesses vis a vis the spiritual pieces of our time on earth (as it relates to the Christian formula). Sealcove, you got it right, Ed and Colin are very much tied up in 'their laying on of their hands....from their limited, 'cage' perspectives".
- August 23, 2013 - 15:02
The Cross is a symbol of violence? I think perhaps you need to educate yourself on Christianity and its rich iconography before making statements like this. The Cross is a symbol of redemption, of self sacrificing love, of the willingness of God to share the pains of suffering humanity, and so much more.
- August 23, 2013 - 07:37
Marion I don't think the statue belongs in the rooms what so ever its not a place for it,if it has to be removed I hope not then it should go to one of the convents or even should be placed at St Bon,s school.it should be kept in a RC environment.As for the cross,s it's silly on your part and anyone else,s people wear them on their necks,what's next will someone be beaten because what they believe in.What's going to happen in grave yards are family going to be asked to take cross,s and statues of their loved ones graves or does it matter at all because they are dead anyway.Are you not worried that you may not get visitors to the rooms because of a statue there on display or does it not have the same meaning as it does at St Clare,s hospital,Rooms sounds like grabby greedy people to me.
- Colin Burke
- August 23, 2013 - 07:27
The cross wasn't always a Christian symbol. Before it became a Christian symbol, it represented the triumph of the violence Ms. Walsh deplores (which, though Christians have often practiced it, we did not invent). Since becoming a Christian symbol, the cross represents the triumph of endurance or defiance of violence, which the modern world is not so much inclined to encourage us to defy or endure even for our deepest convictions.