The Human Body as a Source of Symbolism
to prevailing public impression, the human body has been throughout history, and
continues to be today, one of the principal symbols of the sacred. Genesis refers
to humanity as having been created "in the image and likeness of God."
New Testament writers refer to the body as the "temple of God." "Do
you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you
have from God?" 1 Cor: 6.
The Fish The fish has been an important Christian symbol, not
only because of the fact that Jesus included several fishermen in his close circle,
but also because The initial letters of each word in the Greek phrase "Jesus
Christ, Son of God, Savior" form the word ICHTHUS, which means "fish."
The Ankh Cross The Ankh Cross
is an ancient Egyptian symbol for life, combining the feminine circle and masculine
staff to form the whole. It was adapted by early Christians because of its resemblance
to the cross.
If you want to talk with someone in person, please feel free to call 212-864-5436
The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and
Executive Director of CrossCurrents.
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here. God and Science (Hypertext Edition,
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion: Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).
Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.