Images and Culture
Every culture has it own wealth of images. Some can be interpreted across the cultures, but many are special to a particular culture. Each culture draws from its collective memory archetypes like one draws from a computer. Symbols like the sun, water, etc. can be easily interpreted across cultures as symbolizing light, wisdom, knowledge etc in the case of the sun. But some specific symbols like the Indian symbol of the Lotus bloom are not easy to understand till the meaning is shared across cultures. When we come later in this paper to Indian symbols and how the church has used them to communicate their faith, we shall see this point. God of the Bible has used the symbols from the contemporary heathen cultures to bring new messages to his people:
Thus we see many pictures, images, enacted parable already in the Old Testament where God revealed himself to his people in images and parables in the Bible.
Christianity and Picture language
the idea from the Bible the Christian Church from the very beginning used
pictures to express and experience its faith. It has also borrowed images
from the host culture wherever Christianity has gone to other cultures.
Some times it gave a new meaning to the old symbols. This process of
adaptation has already begun in the New Testament.
St John's Logos language also is borrowed from Greek philosophy, as we know. This basic process of inculturation, selection and variation, and taking what is in consonance with the revealed faith and rejecting what is not, is found all through the Bible. Bishop Victor Premsagar, the former moderator of the Church of South India (CSI), has made this point very strongly in his article on „Faith of Our Fathers“ (International Missionary Review).