Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations have an empty cross. Did this empty-cross split happen around when Martin Luther "created" the Protestant church, or did it happen later? Also, why did the change of symbol happen?

share|improve this question
    
The "empty" cross is easy to draw so probably it has existed as a drawn symbol for at least as long as the crucifix as a sculpture. (I'm totally guessing.) –  dancek Sep 18 '11 at 13:56
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In history there have always been reasons to show a crucifix without a corpus.1 Especially in the first four centuries of Christianity it was – because of theological reservations – not possible to illustrate the suffering servant figure of Jesus Christ: They thought that it was not beneficial for the majesty of Christ's divinity.2

Another trail leads us to Calvinism: Also there led a sovereign, bordering to the abstract image of God to a sober view of the cross without a corpus.3


1: Burkard Porzelt, Empirische Religionspädagogik, 175
2: Baudler, 1997, 289
3: Baudler, 1997, 57

share|improve this answer
2  
If I'm not mistaken, for the first few centuries of the church, they didn't even use a cross at all. –  Flimzy Sep 18 '11 at 17:48
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.