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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The word made visible

Visual art can help us plumb new depths of faith


Joseph Hirsch's lithograph Crucifixion presents a disturbingly vivid image of an executioner nailing Jesus to the cross. Droplets of blood spatter the man's robe. His jaw is set resolutely, lips pursed tightly as he readies his hammer to pound the nail yet again.

The work evokes a visceral response that haunts and deepens into guilt as you notice something surprising in the man's face. It's faint, but there's no mistaking it: He's wearing glasses. That's no first-century executioner. It's us!




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October issue

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