precedent: LATIN CROSS

Title: Latin Cross

Author: unknown

Location: N/A

Year: N/A

Description: 2 linear members, one shorter then the other, that come together in opposite orientations

Almost all can recognize the Latin cross as the main symbol of Christianity.  Most are familiar with the story of the death and crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, and understand that the cross is one of the most widely used symbols today. What many don’t realize is that the cross once of the worlds oldest memorials as well. When evaluating the cross, one must recall the story of Jesus, and one must remember the history, stories, and meaning within the symbol. The cross as a memorial is just as powerful as the cross as a symbol, living somewhere between the 2.

When early Christians began implementing the cross after the death of Jesus, They did so as purely a memorial. Over time Christianity gained followers, popularity, and authority, while still using the Cross as a memorial to the death of their savior, Jesus.  As time passed and the cross was used more and more frequently, many became normalized to it.

This process of normalization is what lead to the cross as a symbol. As more and more became normalized to the cross, they no longer used it as a device to remember Jesus, but instead its primary purpose became to symbolize the entire faith.  Memorializing of Jesus fell to the background, and the power of the symbol took over. This is not to say that in modern times the cross acts only as a symbol, as many will always have the memory of Jesus ingrained in their mind with the image of the cross. But it does show that a memorial can begin to lose its agency of remembrance over time.download-6

What happens more commonly in today’s age of Christianity, is the cross is treated as a symbol, but is re-purposed into a memorial of a different nature.  The cross now is used as road markers, tombstones, and grave markers.  The cross is a memorial to the person, to Jesus, and also a symbol of Christianity. It’s meaning begins to become diluted from the over memorialized, over symbolized, and over used nature. a4s_dotmemorials091_190900a_8col.jpg

 

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