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Cracking the Symbol Code: Revealing the Secret Heretical Messages within Church and Renaissance Art Hardcover – January 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Watkins; First Edition edition (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842931369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842931363
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The Irish born internationally known author and lecturer, Tim Wallace-Murphy, is the author of thirteen published books, has appeared in some eight or nine TV documentaries and has given lectures from Seattle and Long Beach on the West Coast of the USA, in Canada, Great Britain, France, Italy and in Prague.

Eleven of his works cover historical aspects of spirituality, including the Knights Templar, the Cathars, Rosslyn Chapel and the Western Esoteric Tradition as well as the Grail genre. The other two, including the most recent are more mainstream, namely 'What Islam did for Us' a study of how Islamic scholarship laid the foundations of so many fundamental and valued aspects of European culture and his latest work 'The Genesis of a Tragedy - A Brief History of the Palestinian People.' Tim was provoked to write this work as the Palestinian side of this conflict is rarely heard in either Western Europe or the United States and if this ongoing running sore in East West relations is ever to be solved, the pain on both sides needs to be understood.

He also acts as a tour guide in some of the most beautiful and inspiring sacred sites in Europe.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Cracking The Symbol Cone: Revealing The Secret Heretical Messages Within The Church An Renaissance Art by British author, lecturer, and historian Tim Wallace-Murphy is among the most informative explanations to the mysteries left behind of the Knights Templar, Leonardo Da Vinci, King Solomon, and the metaphorical art of the medieval Christian era. Explore a culture and time of mystery, until recent time not at all understood, and now publicly understood. Never before has a book revealed all that Cracking The Symbol Code depicts to its readers. Informed and informative, Tim Wallace-Murphy's Cracking The Symbol Code is very highly recommended for general readers, but particularly those following the Da Vinci mystery's progression.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By infmar on June 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although a bit rambling, this book raises intellectually challenging qustions about the established accounts on the history of the Judeo-Christian religions. tlhe section on the Gothic, the semiotics so to speak of the architecute and sculpture of the cathedrals aroused my interest in again visiting Chartres, Amiens and Rheims.

The segment on the rise of the Knights Templar, and their susequent persecution by the Church is also worth reading as is the writers's assessment of Saul/Paul and the conflict between this person and St. James the Elder and St. John.

In other words, this work goes far beyond Dan Brown and "The Da Vinci Code.
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Format: Paperback
Subtitled: The Hidden Message within Church and Renaissance Art, the book deals with the history and significance of symbolism in Christian art, explaining how and why heretical ideas were hidden from the church hierarchy right under its nose. Wallace-Murphy points out the indicators of hidden symbolism and explores the manifold layers of meaning thus conveyed.

Section I covers the birth and development of sacred symbolism and the legacy of ancient Egyptian gnosis. This section includes discussions of cave paintings, the power of sacred sites as well as Sumerian & Egyptian religious symbolism. The author then explores the origins of Egyptian civilization, astronomy and religion, demonstrating how Egyptian symbols have survived to the present day.

In the next section he discusses the Bible, the supposed Egyptian origins of Judaism, and two conflicting views of the life and ministry of Jesus. The Old Testament text's four levels of meaning receive a thorough explanation as do the dating & compilation of the various books. In this regard, I recommend Richard Elliott Friedman's Hidden Book in the Bible.

The connection between Atenism and Judaism has been made before and is not convincing as Wallace-Murphy is clearly unaware that the word "Adonai' functions as a substitute for the Tetragrammaton or Holy Name in the Shema Yisrael confession. He furthermore fails to recognize the fundamental differences between Egyptian and Hebrew religion; greater clarity may be obtained from Thomas Troward in Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning.
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By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This informative work deals with the history and significance of symbolism in Christian art, explaining how and why heretical ideas were hidden from the church hierarchy right under its nose. The author points out the indicators of hidden symbolism and explores the manifold layers of meaning conveyed by it.

Section I covers the birth and development of sacred symbolism and the legacy of ancient Egyptian gnosis, while Section II discusses the Bible, the supposed Egyptian origins of Judaism, and two conflicting views of the life and ministry of Jesus. The connection between Atenism and Judaism has been made before and is not convincing.

Section III examines early Christianity, St Paul, the foundations of Christian symbolism, the consolidation of Christian Europe and the glory of the Gothic. The last section discusses the hidden streams coming to the surface in issues like the Black Madonna, Sacred Geometry, Chartres Cathedral, the Grail, the Templars, the Tarot, symbolism in Rosslyn Chapel and in renaissance paintings and the craft of Freemasonry.

In the epilogue, the author brings the reader up to the present with discussions of the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery, relevant TV programmes of recent decades, the book The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail and discoveries at Amiens.

The book contains 30 beautiful plates of sculptures, carvings, pillars, stained glass windows and paintings, plus photographs of features at Rennes-le-Chateau. There are also black & white figures throughout the text. Thirteen pages of source notes, a bibliography and index conclude the book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Levenson on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Apparently when the fiction book"The Da Vinci code" became popular everyone-and I do mean EVERYONE-wanted to grab up a piece of Dan Brown's action..In most cases these late-comers either attempted to "explain" the devices used in the fiction,or made some sort of application,however tenuous,of these devices to some known historical reality..Tim Wallace-Murphy's volume"Cracking the symbol code" falls into the latter category..
It did not require a popular fiction,such as"The Da Vinci code" to bring to our attention the fact that many religious symbols have origins that are much earlier than most of us might have assumed...Neither did it take a popular novel to bring to our attention the fact that the roman catholic church was determined to stamp out any and all"heretical"thinking(i.e. any religion that was not the roman catholic church),even if this involved mass slaughter(such as the campaign against the cathers),or by other means(such as the"holy"inquisition)..What Wallace-Murphy does in his book is re-hash these facts while pointing out,quite rightly,that taboo symbols(by roman catholic church standards)were often secretly incorporated into the art and the cathedrals of the time-period,both as an effort to preserve them,and as a form of protest and rebellion against what was a harsh and dictatorial religious oversight..
Alas,Wallace-Murphy does little to place the blame for this NEED to secretly incorporate "heretical"symbols and messages into church and renaissance art right where it belongs-in the lap of the roman catholic church..Instead,he tip-toes around ,afraid to step on toes,afraid to offend modern day catholics,indeed afraid to offend modern day christians of any sort..This approach weakens the impact of his book greatly..
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