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published: 12/29/04
updated: 6/27/13


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Christian Things: Art, Architecture and Ritual Objects



Like most religions, Christianity concerns itself primarily with the spiritual world. Christians believe in a God they cannot see, pray for the salvation of non-material souls, and anticipate an afterlife characterized primarily by spiritual pleasures. However, Christianity is also a religion that embraces the material world rather than renouncing it. Christians believe that a good God created the physical world and Christ took on a physical body, and so conclude that matter must be good in itself. And like those of most religions, followers of Christianity rely on material objects to enhance their religious experience.

This section will explore some of the many sacred and ceremonial objects that have been used in Christianity throughout history and in modern congregations, covering a wide range of items from the humble rosary beads to soaring cathedrals to the ubiquitous fish bumper sticker. Also included are important specific objects in Christian history and legend, like the Shroud of Turin and the Holy Grail, as well as decorative items used in churches like banners. Basically, anything related to Christianity that can be classified as a "thing" will be treated here.






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