Instructions: Read the excerpt below and provide at least 3 additional examples for each type of symbol. Post your answers by leaving a comment below. Next, write a 2-3 sentence explanation as to how do you think does the understanding of symbols relate to us being Christians. Cite your sources.
Name, Name, Name, Name
1.) Example, Example, Example
2.) Example, Example, Example
3.) Example, Example, Example
4.) We think that…
TYPES OF SYMBOLS (Pennock)
To be able to deepen our understanding of symbols, we look at the three types of symbols.
1. Conventional Symbols
- Let’s look at language — in English countries, an object with legs where we can write on/work on/eat on are called table. Do Spanish-speaking individuals understand the same object as table? How about Chinese-speaking individuals?
- Conventional symbols are those whose meaning is agreed upon by a particular society or culture. This may also refer to as cultural symbols because the meaning of such symbols is tied to the situation the symbol is used in. Outside of that situation, the symbol loses or changes its meaning. (ex. language, flag, etc.)
2. Accidental Symbols
- Do you have a particular scent that reminds you of someone?
- Accidental symbols are those that have a special meaning for specific individuals but may have very little meaning for someone else. This may be called conditioning. For example, the moment two lovers fell in love with one another, everything that is going on around them take an accidental meaning. A song may remind them of their love but for other people that song simply means nothing.
3. Universal Symbols
- What meaning can we derive from FIRE or WATER? If we use this in any culture/society/community, will they be able to arrive at the same meaning?
- Universal symbols are those that mean pretty much the same thing to all people at all times in all places. The meaning of these symbols can be understood by people of varying cultures. Sometimes, universal symbols convey complex or even contradictory meanings. All in all, there are those symbols like water and wind that are so rich in meaning and so much part of human existence that they can be considered universal.
- For example: When you go to XCE, and you want to communicate friendship or community, what symbol will you use?