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A religious symbol is an iconic representation intended to represent a specific
religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ethics in religion, ...
, or a specific concept within a given religion. Religious symbols have been used in the military in many different countries, such as the United States military chaplain symbols. Similarly, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs emblems for headstones and markers recognize 57 symbols (including a number of symbols expressing non-religiosity).


Symbols representing a specific religion

Symbolic representation of a specific religious tradition is useful in a society with religious pluralism, as was the case in the
Roman Empire
Roman Empire
, and again in modern multiculturalism.


Religious symbolism


Traditional African religions

In many Traditional African religions, there are no graphical or pictorial symbols representing the actual religion or faith. Each tradition however, has symbolisms which are religious or spiritual in nature. Some of these may be graphical, numerological (as in Serer numerology - see Serer creation myth) or a combination of both. However, these graphical images do not represent the actual faith, but elements within the faith. The very nature of
African art African art describes the modern and historical paintings, sculptures, installations, and other visual culture from native or indigenous Africans and the African continent. The definition may also include the art of the African diasporas, such as ...
stem from "their themes of symbolism, functionalism and utilitarianism" hence why African art is multi-functional. In the traditional African belief system, Africans draw from their various artistic traditions as sources of inspiration.


Other examples of religious symbolism

* Ayyavazhi symbolism *
Buddhist symbolism Buddhist symbolism is the method of Buddhist art to represent certain aspects of dharma, which began in the fourth century BCE. Anthropomorphism, Anthropomorphic symbolism appeared from around the first century CE with the arts of Mathura the G ...
*
Christian symbolism Christian symbolism is the use of symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy), object, or wikt:relationship, relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond ...
* Jewish symbolism * Symbolism in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


See also

*Allegory *Cultural, political, and religious symbols in Unicode *Baháʼí symbols *French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools *Religion in national symbols *Symbols of Islam * United States military chaplain symbols


References


Bibliography

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External links

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Religious symbols and their meaningsUnited States Veteran's Administration approved religious symbols for graves
{{Authority control Lists of symbols, Religious Religious symbols,