Original Research - Special Collection: Ignatius van Wyk Dedication

Statues, symbols and signages: Monuments towards socio-political divisions, dominance and patriotism?

Kelebogile T. Resane
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 4 | a4895 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i4.4895 | © 2018 Kelebogile T. Resane | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2017 | Published: 19 July 2018

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Kelebogile T. Resane, Department of Historical and Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of the Free State, South Africa

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The focus of this article is on monuments variously referred to as statues, symbols, signages, busts, icons etc. The words are used interchangeably. Three words are highlighted to represent a common concept. These are statues, symbols and signages. The South African history with its painful experience of the indigenous inhabitants is highlighted and how symbols had to change in 1994 to represent the aspirations of the new democratic dispensation. Biblical reflections on monuments demonstrate the importance of these symbols during the Old and the New Testament times. The two symbols singled out to reinforce this notion are the Holy Communion and the cross. The significance and potency of the monuments is explained and conclusion drawn is that symbols are valuable for didactive purpose because they serve as teaching aids. They also serve the memory for generations to come so that they know how God’s faithfulness has been demonstrated in the national history of Israel, therefore serving missiological function of the church today.


Statues; Symbols; Monuments; Icons; History; Apartheid; Holy Communion; Cross


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