Monday, April 20, 2009

Christian and Pagan elments in art

Christians have a history of mixing “pagan” and Christian elements into their artwork. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach of art and theology. The term Pagan or Paganism, meaning pagus in Latin, was a name given to country people who stayed after the cities had developed Christian faith. Christianity is believing in one God, while Pagan includes all other religions and believers believe in individual souls. Some of the early Christian wall paintings were much like the Pagans images. The Greek god of the sun, Apollo the god of light, was once called Helios. He was an ancient Pagan figure in which Christians used the image of the God in their religion. Helios is represented as Christ through Christian funerary context and resembles Christ’s resurrection. The advantage to this mix of religions is that people from both religions can find a common symbol. Even though they are so very different from one another, at the same time, they may be able to relate to one another more than one would think. It is easy to see some resemblance when you look at where the two religions originated. A disadvantage to this blend of art work is that critics may see this as a contradiction to both the religions. They may find the Christian religion to be fault and disbelieving if they are including similar concepts from the Pagan religion. It goes both ways for art and theology and it depends on which way you look at it. Either way it does play an important role in the development of art history.

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