Daily Archives: January 8, 2009

The Case of the Crucifix

I’ve recently seen a story floating around of a C of E vicar who took down a large crucifix from the front of his church and replaced it with a shiny modern thing; I rolled my eyes and assumed the worst.

However—over at bls’s place I’ve now seen a photo of the removed crucifix. and I’ll reproduce it here:


Ok, I’d probably take it down too. What bls’s analysis captures though is entirely absent in the Telegraph article that she includes and needs to be said more loudly:

  1. It should be removed not because it’s a crucifix but because it’s bad art.
  2. The reason that it’s bad art is because it’s bad theology.
  3. The reason it’s bad theology is best captured by bls herself:

The problem with this piece is that it’s merely horror-movie scary; the figure on the cross does not look human, but is a monster. You forget the crucifixion entirely because you’re too focused on the hideous monster creature up there.

It doesn’t look human – and that’s the worst thing you could do to Christ on the cross, I think.


Crucifixion is indeed a horrific act and a terrible way to die and, no, we shouldn’t diminish that. However, this crucifix does not look like the suffering of a human and precisely the point is that the God-incarnated-human died a human death.