We absorb images as fast as the eye can see, sometimes zipping right past consciousness. Just too much to process too quickly. We may get an impression. A feeling.
Statues & Paintings
Museums are filled with extraordinary religious art objects. Statues like the tiny Venus of Willendorf (30,000 BCE) to enormous Buddhas have supported the practice of faith. Cave paintings to Egyptian vases capture sacred narratives.
This is a powerful reinforcing loop – faith inspires art which inspires faith. These creations inform and enhance people’s religious experience and become representative of specific beliefs.
Most religious groups use a range of images and symbols to enhance and broadcast their beliefs. These can be highly stylized, with each element representing a key part of the story. The tiniest details matter. The specific color of the robe. Where the finger is pointing. The number of stars.
People often wear these symbols as a way to share their beliefs with others. Walking through a diverse workplace you can find lots of evidence – little previews into individuals’ lives – by simply noticing pins, magnets, badges, holiday cards – any statement. Small invitations to explore some important differences.
Jewelry…even Bumper Stickers
Many people proudly announce their faith in their everyday lives with symbolic pins, rings, pendants, stickers on their homes or car windows, bumper attachments and stickers. These also help people find connections with people they might not otherwise know.