Christianity 's Use Of Islamic Silk

936 WordsDec 9, 20144 Pages
When speaking about cultural exchange, there is always a coexistence of an official cultural attitude and the kind of contact that grows from more habitual social interaction. The process of cultural exchange is similar between the silk used to wrap St. Lazarus and earlier pagan imagery. Early Christians were able to draw from a rich artistic environment when they set out to depict their stories and beliefs in decorative contexts. This often led to the cultural adoption or assimilation of pagan artistic styles and images into art. The artisans who created Christian images did so by using the examples of art and decoration that shaped their artistic landscape. Even though the belief systems were different from pagan religions many of the images generated were quite similar to those that adorned the walls and floors of buildings belonging to their pagan neighbors. The same is true of Christianity 's use of Islamic silk. The early images of Christ portray a young beardless man who bears a strong resemblance to the god Apollo of the Greco-Roman world. This isn’t to say that Christians confused the two, but rather that they chose an image of a pre-established deity with noble associations to portray their idea of the sacred. Helios the Greek god of the sun is another ancient pagan figure whose image is used through monotheistic art; both Christians and Jews used the image of the Greek god of the sun in religious contexts. The Greek deity was most commonly depicted in a

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