© 2000 Walter E. Gast
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Bibliography

These books were used as source material for this site. Click the link for more information about each book.


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The Christian Year: Days and seasons of the church; E. Horn; Muhlenberg Press, 1957.

Primarily written for a Lutheran audience, this excellent resource explains the origin and development of the church's special days and seasons. The book includes the historic propers for the various days of the church year, making it a valuable worship resource as well. Out of print.


Dictionary of Biblical Imagery; L. Ryken, J. Wilhoit, T. Longman III, gen. eds.; InterVarsity Press, 1998.

Recently released, this encyclopedic work covers biblical symbols, figures, types and motifs. It focuses on word pictures rather than graphical illustrations. A great resource for researchers as well as teachers.


Dictionary of Church Terms and Symbols; Loice Gouker, C. Weidmann, ed.; The C.R. Gibson Company, 1964.

A true dictionary of terminology, with many illustrations of symbols. A good resource for Roman Catholic symbols. Out of print.


The Elements of Christian Symbolism; J. Baldock; Element Books Ltd.; 1990.

A broad, scholarly approach to Christian symbolism. Useful for study of religious symbolism in general and the development of Christian symbolic motif in particular. Sparsely illustrated, and not particularly helpful as a glossary of specific symbols.


Our Christian Symbols; F. Rest; The Pilgrim Press, 1954.

This small book is not very comprehensive in scope, but it makes up for that deficiency in its depth of explanation of symbols. It is one of few books to treat vestments, church furnishings, flags, etc., in addition to symbols. Contains nice gray-scale illustrations.


Saints, Signs and Symbols; W. E. Post; Morehouse Publishing; 1974.

This book is organized by categories such as crosses, stars, the church, etc. Very nicely illustrated. Includes a comprehensive chapter on emblems of the saints. Also inludes many rare symbols difficult to find elsewhere. Particularly useful for a study of Roman Catholic symbolism.


Seasons & Symbols: a handbook on the church year; R. Wetzler, H. Huntington; Augsburg Publishing House, 1962.

As suggested by its title, this book groups symbols according to the ecclesiastical season in which they are often used. Includes a brief history and character of each season. Out of print.


The Sign Language of our Faith; H. Griffith; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1939.

Otherwise limited in scope, this work explains symbols difficult to find elsewhere. Chapters cover symbols for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit; apostolic emblems, crosses, flowers and flags. Out of print.


Signs & Symbols in Christian Art; G. Ferguson; Oxford University Press, 1954.

This book primarily emphasizes symbols found in Medieval and Renaissance paintings. It is well-illustrated, with black-and-white reproductions of paintings in a center section. Groupings include Animals, Birds and Insects; Flowers, Trees and Shrubs; Earth and Sky; The Trinity, the Madonna and Angels; Religious Dress; etc.


Symbols and Their Meaning; R. F. Norden; Concordia Publishing House, 1985.

This booklet offers in-depth explanations of and teaching based on the most common Christian symbols. Includes attractive black-and-white illustrations.


Symbols of Church Seasons and Days; J. Bradner; Morehouse Publishing, 1977.

Organized according to church festivals and seasons, this guide contains numerous calligraphic illustrations. Includes explanations of Christian symbolic motifs that are not pictorial in nature. Suggests games that may be played with symbols and offers advice for developing seasonal posters or scenes.


Symbols of the Church; (Rev.); C. E. Whittemore, ed.; Abingdon Press, 1987.

This booklet contains a fairly thorough list of Christian symbols, liturgical colors, and the church year. Explanations of symbols are brief but contain excellent illustrations. It also includes a guide to denominational logotypes.


The Symbols of the Church; M. Dilasser; The Liturgical Press, 1999.

In this beautifully designed and illustrated book, the author transcends any simple lexicon of sacred graphic, glyphic and architectural symbolism (though these are included) to the symbolic nature of ideas — allegory, motif, etc. Chapters are interspersed with essays and poetry that are a delight for recreational reading. Would make a nice presentation book, but not as useful as a reference.


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