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Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient…
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Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols (edición 2008)

por Mike Aquilina, Lea Marie Ravotti (Ilustrador)

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Imagine the dangerous life of a First Century Christian. You've embraced your newfound faith in Christ but fear the risk of persecution or death at the hands of the pagans living around you. Then a trusted friend tells you about some of Jesus' followers who secretly meet. He whispers into your ear, Look for a fish carved into the entranceway to the burialchambers beside the Via Tiburtina. You smile in gratitude. Comparatively, modern society is awash in those same Christian symbols that kept early Christians safely connected: they appear on churches, bumper stickers, mugs even mints and stuffed animals. Yet, we are often ignorant of the origins of these symbols having lost the urgency of our spiritual ancestors' hostile environment. Noted author Mike Aquilina conducts an intriguing tour of symbols that guided the first four centuries of the Church's existence. He explains how Christians borrowed pagan and Jewish symbols, giving them new, distinctly Christian meanings. Recover the voice and urgency of our spiritual ancestors' symbolic language and discover the impact the symbols still have. Black and white illustrations by Lea Ravotti of artifacts uncovered throughout the Middle East beautifully complement the text, showing the variety of contexts in which they were found and the range of skills displayed in their execution.… (más)
Miembro:Joefunk
Título:Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols
Autores:Mike Aquilina
Otros autores:Lea Marie Ravotti (Ilustrador)
Info:Our Sunday Visitor (2008), Hardcover, 192 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Symbolism

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Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols por Mike Aquilina

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The book attempts to, and I think is successful at, transporting us back to the first four centuries of Christianity. a very different and very dangerous time and a time in which a variety of symbols, symbols often taken from the surrounding culture, were appropriated and given a new, deeper, Christian meaning. These have been discovered in the catacombs, the underground burial grounds of the early Christians, but they have also been found on many artifacts, mosaics and lamps, jars and coins and rings from the first several hundred years Anno Domini. Some of the 25 symbols will be familiar to us, some 2000 years later, those like the fish, the shepherd, and of course, the cross, although even here, drawing quotes from the Old Testament, the Psalms and the writing of the Church Fathers, our understanding will no doubt be deepened by what the author writes about them.

But Mr. Aquilina also explores a good many symbols that we may be only slightly, if at all, familiar with, especially explaining their connection to the early Christians. The ancient mythical Phoenix is, as St. Clement of Rome wrote, "a wonderful sign" of the resurrection. Then there is the Dolphin, an animal the ancient people..and many even today...considered the sailor's friend, a guide that would lead ships in danger to a safe harbor. So it was not difficult for early Christians to see the dolphin as a symbol of the Christ, "rescuer, guide and friend."

Each chapter is fairly brief and while the explanations may not be exhaustive, they are an excellent introduction to the subject. There are numerous, very nice, illustrations by Lea Marie Ravotti, in a brownish color that really makes them stand out clearly. Which leads to my only issue with this book. The text is set in the same brownish color, which I found fairly light and a slight bit hard on the eyes to read. Great for the drawing, not so much for the text.Nevertheless, this is a very nice book, a fine introduction to an important subject and a book that would make a lovely gift. ( )
  caitemaire | Aug 29, 2010 |
Non-fiction regarding the origin of various Christian/Catholic symbols. Drawings of those items currently held in various muesums and libraries. Short book with brief history going back to early A.D. Interesting and a quick read. ( )
  chriskeil | Dec 28, 2008 |
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Imagine the dangerous life of a First Century Christian. You've embraced your newfound faith in Christ but fear the risk of persecution or death at the hands of the pagans living around you. Then a trusted friend tells you about some of Jesus' followers who secretly meet. He whispers into your ear, Look for a fish carved into the entranceway to the burialchambers beside the Via Tiburtina. You smile in gratitude. Comparatively, modern society is awash in those same Christian symbols that kept early Christians safely connected: they appear on churches, bumper stickers, mugs even mints and stuffed animals. Yet, we are often ignorant of the origins of these symbols having lost the urgency of our spiritual ancestors' hostile environment. Noted author Mike Aquilina conducts an intriguing tour of symbols that guided the first four centuries of the Church's existence. He explains how Christians borrowed pagan and Jewish symbols, giving them new, distinctly Christian meanings. Recover the voice and urgency of our spiritual ancestors' symbolic language and discover the impact the symbols still have. Black and white illustrations by Lea Ravotti of artifacts uncovered throughout the Middle East beautifully complement the text, showing the variety of contexts in which they were found and the range of skills displayed in their execution.

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