The Origins of the Image of Christ

NOA Community Centre (Ferry Centre)
Summertown, Oxford

(click for map etc.)

This talk will focus on the emergence of the image of Christ in the early centuries of the Christian era, from out of the Graeco-Roman milieu. At that time, many gods were portrayed in human form, and gods like Hermes and Apollo became the prototypes of the earliest images of Christ. But in their striving to represent a wholly new conception of divinity, in which the divine and the human coalesce, artists soon moved on to create a - to us - much more recognizable Christ. It was an image of God incarnate in human form that was quite different from anything that had gone before.

What qualities, then, did the "true" image of Christ need which the earlier models of the divine in human form lacked? In answering this question, we come closer to seeing what it is that the mystery of Christ's incarnation was understood to entail.

Jeremy Naydler holds a doctorate in theology and religious studies, and has long been interested in the religious life of antiquity. He is author of two books on ancient Egyptian religion: Temple of the Cosmos (1996) and Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts (2005). Alongside his intellectual pursuits, he has always worked as a gardener, and his most recent publication is a volume of poems, Soul Gardening (2006). Jeremy is the co-founder of the Jupiter Trust.

6.00 (Friends 3.00)