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Debunking the Myth That Christian Art Generally Portrays Christ as a Northern European Man

Recently, there have been highly publicized calls in the U.S. by the Marxist left for the destruction of Christian images on the basis that they push a white-European stereotype of Christ as a symbol of oppression.

The charge that Christians think Christ is white European is false, as a survey of Christian art shows. The claim shows an ignorance of art history. And that ignorance is influenced, ironically, by a Western, Eurocentric bias in the interpretation of history.

I have read a number of articles over the years that criticize the traditional representation of Christ. This, we are told, is not only historically inaccurate, but also betrays a northern European cultural bias.

Twice recently I have heard this discussion sparked off by the discovery of human remains in the Holy Land which date from the time of Christ, which have allowed scientists to create an image of the person from whom the bones came. The figure that is recreated is — surprise, surprise — olive-skinned and Semitic-looking. This indicates, so the logic goes, what Christ would probably have looked like. And this, therefore, show how narrow-minded Europeans are, and how culturally narrow Christianity is for portraying Christ as a white Caucasian.

Read more at The Stream

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