Christian symbolism involves investing inner meaning that expresses Christian ideas on some objects or actions (such as events, artwork, acts, or archetypes). Christianity as a form of belief does not really apply aniconism in its practices. Aniconism is, simply put, the kind of avoidance or prohibition toward certain types of images. The most notable Christian symbol of all would be the crucifix, a cross with corpus on it. This symbol is common in Anglicanism, Eastern, Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, and Catholic Church. Protestantism, on the other hand, opts for a bar cross instead. Appearance-wise, the letter T represented the early form of crucifix. It started being used as a symbol of Early Christianity in the 2nd century. The use of the Greek and Latin cross (a cross with beams intersecting with one another) first emerged by the end of Late Antiquity. Another type of cross called the Celtic cross appears as a cross surrounded by a circle. However, while the cross looks similar with Christian cross, the symbol’s presence is thought to be 3,000 years older than Christianity itself. The symbol appeared on ancient monoliths in Ireland and some of them were relocated to churchyards. The origin of the Celtic cross is not known for sure at this point.
For at least 5,000 years, the Celtic cross is thought to have been the most dominant feature of Irish anthropogenic landscape. Due to their similarity in shape, the Celtic cross was adopted by the Irish Catholic culture after the island was Christianized. The Celtic cross has become a symbol to interpret Christianity in a way that is totally unique to Irish culture.
The crucifix (referring to the depictions of the scene of crucifixion) was something that can be thought to be rare before the 5th century; despite the fact the cross was a typical symbol of early Christians. The change in practice is thought to be attributed to Constantine’s mother, Helena, and who claimed that she had found the True Cross. Another factor that led to a change in the way Christians view the cross would be the development of Golgotha that turned it into a site for pilgrimage. The crucifix is purported to have been developed as a symbol in Palestine. Crux gemmata, plain cross covered with jewels, became a common depiction of the symbol in early medieval period. Byzantine art is thought to be the first medium that featured crucifixion displaying suffering, indicated by the common “S” shaped slumped body kind of depiction was developed.