But Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson, in their important study, The Cross is Not Enough, believe there are signs of the resurrection in both popular and high culture works of art. Where do you see signs of the resurrection in art? Question: What are the criteria by which you would be able to say Yes or No to resurrection signs in art? Would you see resurrection in the shift in Clint Eastwood’s character in Trouble with the Curve?
Here is perhaps a better question: How often do we fail to spot a resurrection motif in a work of art because we are so in-attuned to resurrection theology?
But first recall that the crucifix — a cross with the suffering body of Jesus on it — was not the characteristic “cross” of the 1000 years. From the 10th century onwards the dominant “cross” became the crucifix. The Crusades led to an increase in crucifixion art and from the 14th Century art crucifix art became more graphic and grotesque. Early Christian art didn’t depict resurrection; it was often symbolized with the Chi-Rho symbol. (6th Century chi-rho in image above.)
Resurrection has figured in Christian art, including Grünewald’s famous Isenheim Resurrection.
What’s your favorite resurrection song? Do you sing resurrection songs only at Easter? Tones, sounds, noises and pitch — what are the ones that evoke resurrection?
Clifford and Johnson then explore a host of pop culture possibilities: sci-fi films like The Day the Earth Stood Still, or The Matrix, Harry Potter and Captain Scarlett. They explore antichrist resurrections in pop culture, as in Alien Resurrection.
In “high culture” they touch on Crime and Punishment, and The Tale of Two Cities.