Welcome to Life in 361˚. This blog is an 'open journal' - a space where I keep notes on bits & pieces I come across day-to-day - including books and articles I've read that I feel are worth sharing, interesting pictures and photos (I'm a visual learner, you see), random musings - and anything else that happens to catch my eye or ear. It also acts as a kind of 'open experiment' in terms of developing my views and writing skills - and networking with other people of a like-mind.

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06/08/2012

Off-Centre Cross

Last summer I wrote a lengthy post on Christian symbols which surprisingly enough remains one of the most read on this blog. I guess this could be regarded as a follow-up post.

This morning, whilst relaxing over a cup of tea, I made my periodic visit to Andrew J. Brown's excellent Caute blog and the following symbol, posted in the side column, caught my eye:


The Off-Centre Cross (also known as the Universalist Cross) is explained succinctly on the The New Massachusetts Universalist Convention including the following quote:
"The Circle is a symbol of infinity--a figure without beginning or end. 
The Cross is the symbol of Christianity. It is placed off-center in the circle of infinity to indicate that Christianity is an interpretation of infinity but neither the only interpretation of the infinite nor necessarily for all people, the best one. It leaves room for other symbols and other interpretations. It is, therefore, a symbol of Universalism."
-- Gordon McKeeman
I like this - and more so than the Flaming Chalice which has been widely adopted by Unitarians / Unitarian-Universalists.

Speaking as a Free Christian, my own interpretation of this symbol is that the circle is in fact an 'O' standing for 'Other' - in the sense our faith seeks to point to, and to provide a conscious experience of, the 'Sacred Other' - that which we call God or Spirit. The cross represents the fact we, as 'pan narrans' or 'storytelling apes' (to quote Terry Pratchett in The Science of Discworld II), have adopted the Christian narrative as the principle way of finding meaning - and Truth - in our lives. But it remains off-centre to allow for other stories, other ways of Spirit & Truth.

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