The cross is a symbol that is widespread around the world and has particular religious and cultural significance.
Even in the early days of mankind, the cross was a cult object, as we know from archaeological finds. The use of the cross goes back to the Stone Age . In European cult caves, crosses often represent the oldest rock carvings . It is generally assumed that the representation of four connected, opposing cardinal points is a religious formula for the world.
The cross in Christianity
In Christianity, the vertical bar symbolizes the relationship between God and man. The horizontal bar of the cross connects the relationship between people. Today the cross is particularly widespread as a symbol of Christianity and was officially introduced as a Christian symbol in 431 AD by the Council of Ephesus . The sign is derived from the crucifixion of Christ and is closely related in Christian theology to the subject of guilt and atonement . In addition, the cross is widely used as a symbol associated with death and is therefore often found on Christian graves.
Furthermore, the cross can be understood as a metaphor for a burden (including illness or disability) that a person has to cope with in life. The symbol for peace and redemption in the Christian religion is interpreted positively. The cross with the depiction of the crucified Jesus Christ is called a crucifix .
Examples of crosses in a Christian context:
- Christian cross and derived from it: Latin cross , Petrus cross , Jerusalem cross , Celtic cross , cross of Christ , crucifix , Maltese cross / Johanniterkreuz , Templar cross , Black Cross of the Teutonic Order , Patriarchal Cross
- a consecration cross for church consecration - in several places in the nave
- the summit cross on mountains
- Cross pillars
- Symbol of various aid organizations, e.g. B. White Cross , Red Cross , Green Cross , Blue Cross , Black Cross
- the symbol of various national flags , see Andreaskreuz , Georgskreuz , Scandinavian cross , Swiss cross
The largest cross in the world is part of the Monumento Nacional de Santa Cruz del Valle de los Caídos .
Many crosses are used as a common figure or as a heraldic image in heraldry . They also have special names here that are not always known in everyday life. Many crosses are named after the shape of the cross arms and are heraldic inventions.
The crosses are often represented in two forms in heraldry: the basic shape and if the lower arm is shown in a pointed shape deviating from the other cross arms, the cross is a pointed cross or a pointed cross , without much change in the other designation. In addition, most of the crosses can be represented in the two basic forms common (Greek) cross with arms of equal length and Latin (high) cross , many also as an inclined cross (St. Andrew's cross) in the X position.
|The Egyptian cross or Ankh is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph and at the same time the symbol of life and rebirth. In the Coptic Church it is still used in its original form today.|
|The swastika , sun cross or swastika , in Latin crux gammarum , is considered to be a good luck charm in Asia (both clockwise and anti- clockwise ); was also used as a Christian symbol in the early Church; became the party symbol of the NSDAP at the beginning of the 20th century (hook clockwise, bar diagonal).|
|In card games , clubs are usually the highest color of the game (exceptions are e.g. poker , bridge or jass ). It symbolizes a three- leaf clover . Originally, the pagan symbols for the four elements were used in the playing cards known to us (e.g. sword, staff / pike, goblet / cup, coin / disc and derivatives, which are always similar in their basic features). In the course of time, the sword (which also has a cross-like shape) became the clover leaf that is common today.|
|♯||In music, a cross is the accidentals used to raise the note by a semitone .|
|The Basque Cross or Lauburu .|
|The hands of God (Polish: Ręce Boga) or the Slavic Cross is a pre-Christian Slavic mythological symbol of the Supreme God and the universe.|
|Radkreuz or sun cross .|
|The Celtic Cross , High Cross or Irish Cross.|
|The Gilgen Cross of the House of Anjou and Gigliato .|
|The clover leaf cross (also Lazarus cross or Brabant cross), the ends of which are decorated with the clover leaf, is used in heraldry .|
The cross is also to be found
- in typography as a character, which in academic editions often indicates a corrupted or difficult to read passage, see cross (characters) ;
- in genealogy the symbol for the day of death (†), see genealogical symbols ;
- in the form of three crosses as a substitute form of the signature , which must be certified by a notary ;
- in mathematics as a plus sign for the addition and, tilted by 45 ° (×) also as a sign for the cross product
- as medal z. B. Iron Cross
- on agricultural land as a Green Crosses campaign by German farmers
Crosses in art
The cross also plays a role as a work of art in the present. The artist Hermann Bigelmayr has created a central symbol of orientation in the non-denominational cemetery with the work of art “The Cross in the Nothing”. When the viewer goes into the large sculpture, he recognizes the Christian cross in the spaces in between. At the same time, the sculpture is open in all four directions and thus symbolizes all religions in the world. Due to the non-denominational approach, the work of art has often been the subject of discussion for political-religious debates in Bavaria.
- Václav Měřička : Orders and Awards. Prague 1969.
- Sebastian Anneser , Friedrich Fahr, Peter Steiner: Cross and crucifix - signs and images. Lindenberg im Allgäu: Kunstverlag Josef Fink 2005, ISBN 978-3-89870-217-1 .