Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Machu Picchu

I've recently noted a couple of different LEGO version of Machu Picchu and its potential religious significance. The British TV personality Ben Fogle got together with professional LEGO builders Bright Bricks to present a huge(!) version of Machu Picchu in London as part of an event highlighting Peruvian culture and promoting travel to Peru. I've only found a few images of this so far in this news story and in these two Flickr galleries. I don't know how long this will be on display, but my London readers might want to go over to the Covent Garden district to check it out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Inferno: Lust

Somehow I never went back to Mihai Marias Mihu's Dante's Inferno project. His second circle is lust.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Birth and death

AlfredD has finally posted the remaining scenes in the series he calls the ten most beautiful stories in the Bible, showing the nativity and the cross. There's also a bonus creation of a giant cross.

So that makes his list:
1. The cross
2. Christ's birth
3. Noah's ark
4. David and Goliath
5. Not sure, but I think the parable of the prodigal son
6. The good Samaritan
7. Joseph in Egypt
8. Queen Esther
9. Creation
10. Jonah and the Whale
I wonder what others would pick as the ten key things to illustrate from the Bible? I think if I were to do a project like this I'd try to tell the story as: creation, the Fall, the giving of the law on Sinai, the promise of a messiah (no idea how I'd illustrate that), Christ's birth, the cross, the empty tomb, and Christ's return in glory. I know, that's eight. Maybe in there I'd include Abraham and Isaac, since that is such a wonderful prefiguring of Christ's substitutionary atonement, and maybe the parting of the Red Sea. How about you? (Of course, I recognize that this is completely a Christian interpretation. A Jewish reader would have a very different list.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

South America

It's been quite a while since I checked in with Jackie's Mid Life Crisis Gap Year. Jackie Britton is traveling the world, visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and building them in LEGO. Her most recent travels have taken her to sites in South America.

Recently she visited Cuzco, Peru, where one of the sites she visited was the city's main cathedral.

She then went on to Machu Picchu. I've recently discussed the question of the religious significance of this site.

A bit after that she traveled to Rapa Nui, or Easter Island. It's not clear what exactly the Moai, the giant statues, represent, but they may represent deified ancestors.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ivppiter Optimvs Maximvs

The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus located on the Capitoline Hill was one of the most important temples of ancient Rome, where Jupiter was worshiped along with Juno and Minerva. On the Ides of each month a white lamb was sacrificed to Jupiter, but on the Ides of January (January 13) a wether (a castrated goat or ram) was sacrificed, as shown here by lokosuperfluolegoman.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Deir el Bahari

I've previously noted the religious significance of the Pharoahs of ancient Egypt, including their apotheosis after death. Here Matija Grguric presents his own version of Deir el Bahari, the temple to the deceased Pharoah Hatshepsut.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Acts 12:1-11

Cam M. illustrated Acts 12:1-11.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Machu Picchu

The purpose of the Incan site of Machu Picchu, built during the 15th century, is not known. Some argue that it was a royal retreat, while others believe it had a more religious purpose. One theory holds that Incan pilgrims would travel there to symbolically retrace the story of their ancestors. The site is surrounded by a sacred river and revered peaks. Certain buildings and stones seem to line up with the sun on significant dates, and may have been the sites of sacrifices and other rituals. Matija Grguric built this LEGO version.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jesus figure

EclipseGrafx made this Jesus. It looks like he sells custom minifigures.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

School of Athens

Erkhanc presents this interpretation of the School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael found in the reception rooms of the Pope's official residence.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chichén Itzá

El Castillo Chichén Itzá (here by Matija Grguric) was a Mayan temple to the feathred snake deity Kukulkan. Interestingly, at the spring and fall equinoxes the temple casts a snake-like shadow along the northern stairs, showing that in addition to being the site of sacrifices and other ceremonies, this temple helped mark the calendar. Another aspect in this regard is that the temple has 365 steps (91 on each side plus the top).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trinity Sunday

Many Christian churches in the western tradition celebrate today as Trinity Sunday, a recognition of the doctrine that God is one being but has three distinct persons.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Allegory of the cave

It's a little bit of a stretch to include this MOC here, since it is not directly religious. I thought about tying in another section of the Republic where Plato considers a philosopher's view of God as the ultimate form of all goodness, or maybe point to the passages in Hebrews that consider the earthly Temple as a mere copy of a heavenly form. Regardless, lokosuperfluoLEGOman's LEGO rendition of Plato's Allegory of the cave is simply too cool a creation to pass up. For those unfamiliar, this is an image offered in the Republic. In this life we are like prisoners in a cave, and all we perceive is shadows cast upon a wall. Enlightenment consists in turning and seeing that what we perceive as reality is simply the reflection of the true things, and then ultimately leaving the cave and seeing the sun.

As C.S. Lewis puts it in the Last Battle: "It's all in Plato, all in Plato: bless me, what do they teach them at those schools!"