BRLSI Belief - The Dove and the Cross: Symbols of Hope in Eastern and Western Christian Mysticism

22 June 2018


Visitors - £4; Members/Students - £2

Permissions: Martin Sturge from a gold thread and silk embroidery on a 4th century Syriac Orthodox chasuble or 'ephod'

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Duncan McGibbon Poet and Convenor 

This talk compares the differences between Eastern, Russian Orthodox and Western, Catholic religious symbolism. Both are Trinitarian, yet the path to the Father in one is centred on the Dove as a vision of universal salvation at the end of time; in the other it is centred upon the Cross and salvation as active sacrifice to Christ. Both great mystical visionaries (Saint Seraphim of Sarov and the Servant of God, Divo Barsotti) converge without contradicting their traditions, Seraphim having been a decisive influence on the mission of Barsotti. Their stirring words provide an opportunity to compare these symbols and their associated imagery in a way that furthers our understanding of religious symbolism.