Book Review: The Mystery of the Cross
This book is a treasure-trove of information, iconic representations, and insight. It traces the history of the beloved symbol of Christianity from its uses by other cultures, to its literal meaning in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and through the first 1000 years of Christian history.
Coming from a Mormon background and having spent the last 36 years in a church which is nearly devoid of liturgy, I found that much of what Couchman describes was completely unknown territory. I had vague ideas of why Catholics veil the altar during the Passion week but had no idea that the roots of Christian drama are probably found in an ancient practice of actually robbing the altar to demonstrate that Passion.
Couchman’s thoughtful writing style and deep research make this book both readable and ponderable. This is a lovely and useful book – a real contribution to both the study of Christian art and to the lives of those who read it.