Travelling around LatinAmerica, some of the interesting surprises have been the catholic churches.
- Huge, gold covered alters crammed with paintings and statues (the latter often of martyrs dripping blood). These really are multi-media spectaculars. For the catholic church, statues and paintings were a media form to communicate with the illiterate. Compare PrintAsProtestantMedia
- The indigenous craftsmen who made the alters often hid their own religios symbols. In particular, the sun rays behind the dove representing the HolySpirit are emphasized and portrayed much like the native sun god. Thus, indigenous could worship the sun, given prominence on the alters of the invader.
- The spaniards tolerated this as the indigenous often worked harder when allowed to mix their own symbols.
- Catholicism often allows itself to be cross-bred with native religions, which helps it get a hold. The protestants would accuse it therefore of being a deegenerate, unchristian religion.
- Amazing how costly the alters seem to be for such small communities. Propaganda?
- Gold protects the wood. Hence isn´t just ostentation.
- Saw an amazing trunk which folds out into multiple diaramas of biblical scenes. Made by nuns as a portable way of educating natives. Looks like something by the ChapmanBrothers. (Must find pic.) Meanwhile, compare : Lego/Bible
- Huge emphasis on Mary. Many, many different virgins in different styles. Mainly based on visions of various saints. Often Mary more prominent than Christ. Easier to understand Protestant complaints against Catholicism here.
- Virgin Mary toast :-) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4019295.stm
- Unhealthy atmosphere : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4026537.stm