VIS(ual) LIT(erature): Appropriated Religious Symbols

The Petrine Cross is a dear symbol to the Catholic faith. It signifies a believer’s unworthiness of God and Christ and their acceptance of Christ as their savior.

At a first glance, the famous inverted cross would lead one to assume that its meaning clashes to the meaning of the usual orientation of the cross. This is partially true. The Christian Cross, in its usual orientation, suggests what most people know already while St. Peter’s cross, the Petrine Cross, portrays a believer’s unworthiness of Christ.

In more recent times, the Petrine Cross has been appropriated by conspiracy theorists and used to undue the Catholic faith’s legitimacy by linking it to Satanism even when the symbol is unrelated to the secular institution. When seen today, it isn’t viewed by as a Christian symbol but as something malignant by many.

There have been times in history when a powerful symbol is taken and assigned a different meaning. What can happen to a symbol’s significance if its meaning becomes warped similarly to the Petrine cross or the Hindu Swastika?


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