World Nativity Traditions





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The tree of life is a universal symbol known and portrayed in many religions and philosophies, all the way from ancient Egypt and Assyria to China. The Christian religion connects the tree of life not only to the power of knowledge and source of life, but also to the cross of Christ as source of redemption and eternal life. The Nativity event links creation and redemption, the former habitually represented with a tree, the latter in frequent representations of Christ on the cross, the cross being nothing else but the stem of the tree of life. Where Creation, Incarnation, and Redemption come together in the tree of life, there we have a powerful symbol of the fullness of life.


Handpainted clay nativity created in Mexico by unknown artists. The exact date of its creation is unknown. Exhibition label originally written by Fr. Johann G. Roten, S.M. for exhibit held at Roesch Library, University of Dayton.


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crèches, nativity scenes, nativities, At the Manger, figurines, Jesus Christ, Mexico

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