Borrowing from the neighbors
We Christians often hear calls to “separate yourselves from the world’: but as Sarah Yeomans points out in Biblical Archaeology Review, even early Christian art was very much like pagan art.
The author shows representations of Christ as the gods Apollo and Hermes, and the hero Orpheus. She also matches an image of the Madonna and Child with that of Isis nursing the infant Horus.
Yeoman quickly adds that Christians were necessarily importing paganism. Rather, “Artisans and craftsman who were now creating art in a Christian context naturally turned to images and styles that were familiar to them.”
But this tradition continues today, don’t you think? This spring in Fort Lauderdale, an alliance of church groups held a Christian hard-rock festival on the beach. I doubt the churches would have produced such music — or sponsored a spring break celebration — if secular society hadn’t done it first.
Before you leave the BAR site, click one of the pictures. It’ll launch a slide show with a bigger view of the 10 pictures, plus some long captions explaining them.