Friday 15 December 2017

Let's just accept that the Cross is part of pop culture

If you sport a cross in the form of an accessory, a tattoo, or even a statement drawn on the side of your schoolbag in marker, the Archbishop of Canterbury
If you sport a cross in the form of an accessory, a tattoo, or even a statement drawn on the side of your schoolbag in marker, the Archbishop of Canterbury

Aisling O'Connor

If you sport a cross in the form of an accessory, a tattoo, or even a statement drawn on the side of your schoolbag in marker, the Archbishop of Canterbury is concerned about your intentions.

Most Reverend Justin Welby reckons that the Cross, deemed to be a badge of shame by early Christians, has been devalued by fashion – namely Italian fashion gods Dolce & Gabbana. Does he have a point about pop culture treating a sacred symbol as the latest hot trend, or is the church making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Fashion has always pulled from religion and other cultural traditions for inspiration. But in the case of Dolce & Gabbana's fabulously gaudy Fall 2013 collection, the history of Italian Catholic art – the intricate detailing of cathedral mosaics, ornate crosses and iconography – is the muse. The design duo are famous for a love affair with Italian culture – of which Catholicism is the heart and soul.

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