The cross: archetypal image
The cross is a straightforward geometric determine, product of two perpendicular traces. This kind, recognized to numerous civilizations, is an archetypal image that has all the time been interpreted as a ‘passageway’, a mediation between earth and sky, the finite and the infinite, contingent and everlasting. The intersection of the 2 axes, the fifth “level” of the cross, is taken into account concurrently the middle of the circle and the middle of the sq., permitting communication between two worlds: heaven and earth, the finite and the infinite. That time is the middle of the cosmos, the omphalosbecause it had been.
Recognized in historical cultures to indicate life and the divine – within the Egyptian world, for instance, the pharaoh held in his fingers the ansata cross, which refers back to the reward of rebirth and immortality – the cross has change into the Christian image par excellence, on, from the primary centuries, a number of anthropological and cosmological values. The Fathers of the Church have elaborated innumerable reflections on the cross.
So if for Justin Martyr (110-163/167) man differs from different animals in that he stands erect and might stretch out his fingers, indicating the form of the cross, earlier than Bishop Maximus of Turin (380-420) man stroll and the lifting up of his arms, just like the vault of heaven itself, is within the type of a cross. It turns into the seal of creation, the key that lives on the coronary heart of the cosmos, so desired by Greek philosophy and now lastly acknowledged. Thus, the Christian religion can provide a reputation to what Greek philosophers sought, beginning with the pre-Socrats after which Plato.
La Civilta Cattolica!
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