Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Creepy Jesus

A picture of a stone crucifix figure
photo: 24 Hour Museum

This emaciated, agonized Jesus is the crucifix that, until recently, hung outside St. John's Church in West Sussex, England. It's been removed and given to a museum because, as the BBC reports, "The Reverend Ewen Souter said the 10ft crucifix was "a horrifying depiction of pain and suffering" which was also "putting people off"."

Now, I grew up in a church whose representative image is the empty cross - a symbol of Christ's victory over death. Crucifixes have usually struck me as missing the point. Nevertheless, this work was a gift to St. John's from Edward Bainbridge Copnall, former President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. Pretty good credentials, really.

The rationale for removing the statue is that it's frightening the children. The church wants to present a more welcoming image.

Now I admit, this sculpture is pretty ghastly, but have any of these folks looked at the work of Hieronymus Bosch lately?



  1. There is a lot of pain and suffering in the world and if the rector et al think that removing this crucifix will protect the little children, they are sadly mistaken. Parents need to get a reality check and do more teaching and less hiding.

  2. Dear Boliyou....I just came from the Teach's .I will be looking for your interview.
    I am taking a look at your blog and thought that this post was really good.
    I grew up in a church that believed in the empty cross too and that explanation that you have here is really good.
    I had a friend once who wanted my help to find a cross necklace that he wanted to give to his friend. When he was looking for one with Jesus on it, I told him, "You should get an empty cross because Jesus is not on the cross anymore and He never will be again. He already paid for all of our sins and He arose from the dead.
    I think this artist picture you have here is good. He did suffer so much pain and He was so innocent!
    Bye... I am waiting for your interview............Terry