Christian and Hindu Iconography Comparison Essay by scribbler

A comparison of Christian and Hindu iconography and religious motifs.
# 152205 | 2,561 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2013 | US

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The paper explores the theologies of Christianity and Hinduism respectively and identifies the main features of both religions. The paper then examines and compares Hindu and Christian iconography and specifically addresses the mandala icon, the concept of divine appearance and sacrifice and the image of the serpent. The paper demonstrates how there is much interplay and room for comparison between Hindu and Christian art and iconography, and points out that the similarities between the two are by no means the result of historical accident.

From the Paper:

"Christianity for the most part built upon the preceding Hebraic belief in the creation of the world ex nihilo, or "out of nothing." Some of the earliest Christian theologians, Augustine included, believed that the "universe was created out of nothing" (Tsoukalas 2006, 173). This spawned the idea that one cannot divide the universe from God, especially in a temporal sense. The Christian God, incarnated in Christ, created the world out of chaos; it did not exist prior to him in any way. As it is written in the book of Genesis: "In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was from God, and God was the Word" (Tsoukalas 2006, 205). Man was created by him, only to lose contact with him after the Fall (the Garden of Eden) and then later was given the chance for salvation in the person of Jesus Christ. The opportunity for salvation lies at the basis of the Christian claim of universalism. In the Christian tradition, universalism is defined as "the doctrine that all men will finally be saved in opposition to the doctrine of eternal punishment" (Robinson 1980, 1). This can also be referred to as "catholicity," a Greek word synonymous with "universal.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Andreopoulos, Andreas. Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration of Byzantine Theology and Iconography. New York: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2005.
  • Clooney, Francis X. "Sacrifice and Its Spiritualization in the Christian and Hindu Traditions: A Study in Comparative Theology." The Harvard Theological Review 78:3/4 (1958): 361-380.
  • Duran, Jane. "The Nagaraja: Symbol and Symbolism in Hindu Art and Iconography." Journal of Aesthetic Education 24:2 (1990): 37-47.
  • Jung, C.G. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. New York: Princeton University Press, 1990.
  • Rao, T.A. Gopinatha. Elements of Hindu Iconography. New York: Paragon Book Reprint Corp., 1968.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Christian and Hindu Iconography (2013, January 13) Retrieved December 10, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Christian and Hindu Iconography" 13 January 2013. Web. 10 December. 2023. <>