Religious Symbols from the Visual Semiotics' Point of View

By: Edit Gerencsér Újvári  

The paper focuses on the visual symbols of religions. I would like to analyse three religious symbols from viewpoint of how they can be used to express the idea of religious-philosophical, theological theories. The first is a tribal symbol of a shaman drum from Central-Asia, the second is a medieval Christian motif with the main animal symbols of Christianity in a concentric circle-structure and the third is the Chinese Taoist symbol of Bagua with the eight octagonal trigrams and the Yin and Yang motif in its centre. All of them have a central geometrical structure and a complex visual content. Naturally, they have absolutely different cultural-religious background, subject matters, and themes, as we can understand their accurate meanings by their semantic examination. However, when they are submitted to a syntactic analysis, the similar visual logic in their compositions is clearly visible. According to the syntactic analyses. With the help of the theory and method of visual semiotics, we could analyse the common cognitive schemes in different religious symbols.

Religious, Symbol, Geometrical, Structure, Visual, Semiotics, Semantic, Syntactic, Analyses
2019 Special Focus—Universal Religious Symbols: Mutual Influences and Specific Relationships
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Edit Gerencsér Újvári

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Szeged, Hungary

Edit Újvári is associate professor of the Faculty of Education, University of Szeged and lecturer at the Department for the Study of Religions, University of Szeged, Faculty of Arts. She teaches courses on cultural and art history, religious symbols and signs. She is the author of more than 60 publications including four momographs, the co-author of three books, and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Symbols. Her PhD focused on the Goddes motif in Sándor Weöres' poetry. Her current research interest concerns animal symbols in Christian Iconography and semiotic analysis of visaul arts (Szeged UP in 2015