In conclusion, it must be said that Christianity itself is certainly not without the phallic element. Reference may be made to the important place taken in Christian dogma by the "fall"--which I have shown to have had a purely "phallic" foundation--and to the peculiar position assigned to Mary, as the Virgin Mother of God. 161 It must not be forgotten, however, that, whatever may have been the primitive idea on which these dogmas are based, it had received a totally fresh aspect, at the hands of those from whom the founders of Christianity received it. 162 As to symbols, too, these were employed by the Christians in the later signification given to them by the followers of the ancient faiths. Thus, the fish--and the cross-symbols originally embodied the idea of generation, but afterwards that of life, and it was in this sense that they were applied to Christ. 163 The most evidently phallic representation used by the Christian iconographers is undoubtedly the aureole or vessica. This was generally elliptical in form, and contained the figure of Christ; Mary herself, however, being sometimes represented in the aureole, glorified as Jesus Christ. 164 Probably the nimbus, also, is of phallic significance; for, although generally circular, it was sometimes triangular, square, etc. 165 The name of Jehovah is inscribed within a radiating triaiigle. 166 Didron gives a representation of St. John the Evangelist with a circular nimbus, surmounted by two sunflowers, emblems of the sun, an idea which, says Didron, "reminds us of the Egyptian figures, from the heads of which two lotus-flowers rise in a similar manner." 167 There is also a curious representation, in this work, of the divine hand, with the thumb and two forefingers outstretched, resting on a cruciform nimbus (p. 215). In Egypt, the hand having the fingers thus placed was a symbol of Isis, and from its accompaniments, there can be little doubt, notwithstanding the mesmeric character ascribed to it by Ennemoser, 168 that it had an essentially phallic origin, although it may ultimately have been used to signify life.
There can be no question, however, that, whatever may be thought of its symbols, 169 the fundemental basis of Christianity is more purely "phallic" than that of any other religion now existing. I have referred to the presence in Hebraic theology of an idea of God--that of a Father--antagonistic to the Phoenician notion of the "Lord of Heaven." We have the same idea repeated in Christ's teaching, its distinctive characteristic being the recognition of God as the Universal Father, the Great Parent of Mankind, who had sent His son into the world that he might reconcile it unto Himself. It is in the character of a forgiving parent that Christians are taught to view God, when He is not lost sight of in the presence of Christ. The emotional nature of Christian faith, indeed, shows how intimately it was related to the older faiths which had a phallic basis. In Christianity, we see the final expression of the primitive worship of the father as the head of the family, the generator, as the result of an instinctive reasoning process leading up from the particular to the universal, with which, however, the dogma of the "fall" and its consequences--deduced so strangely from a phallic legend--have been incorporated. The "phallic" is, indeed, the only foundation on which an emotional religion can be based. As a religion of the emotions, therefore, the position of Christianity is perfectly unassailable. As a system of rational faith, however, it is far different; and the tendency of the present age is just the reverse of that which took place among the Hebrews--the substitution of a Heavenly King for a Divine Father. In fact, modern science is doing its best to effect for primitive fetishism, or demon-worship, what Christianity has done for phallic worship--generalize the powers of nature and make of God a Great Unknowable Being, who, like the Elohim of the Mosaic cosmogony, in some mysterious manner, causes all things to appear at a word. This cannot be, however, the real religion of the future. If God is to be worshipped at all, the Heavenly King and Divine Father must be combined in a single term; and he must be viewed, not as the unknowable cause of being, but as the Great Source of all being, who may be known in nature--the expression of his life and energy.