Mandala is the Sanskrit word for circle. Sanskrit is an ancient language used in India and other countries in the Indian subcontinent. Most of my Indian friends are aware of Sanskrit but chose not to take it as an elective during their school years.
In Christianity, the circle is a symbol for God because a circle has no beginning and no end.
In effect, the Christian Mandala begins with God.
Christian Mandalas would be considered a Western mandala or non-traditional mandala type as compared to traditional mandalas that appear in Buddhism and Hinduism.
I create Christian Mandalas while I study the Bible by filling in a circle with my thoughts as I read and reflect on a Bible passage. Creating Christian Mandalas while I explore helps me to learn more deeply, and I sometimes end up with a decent piece of art. The image shown is a mandala I created while reflecting on Psalm 23.
Jesus was the first mandala creator. “He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness” (Job 26:10, ESV).
Other Christian Mandala creators include:
Theologians – Martin Luther, Hildegard von Bingen, Jakob Böhme, and Herrad von Landsberg. With these theologians we have two Protestants, two Catholics, two men, and two women.
Artists – Hieronymus Bosch, M. C. Escher, Sandro Botticelli, and Salvador Dalí (Yes, Dalí became a Christian).
The brilliant Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. (Yes, he was a Christian). Jung could also be grouped in with the list of artists above.
Artisans – All the artists who created the incredible stained-glass windows, in the circular format, we see in churches throughout Europe, the United States, and other countries. A beautiful example from All Saints Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon, is shown below.
Additionally, folks who have undertaken the Christian Mandala studies are Christian Mandala creators.
For more detail, see my Top 10 blog:
In the next blog, we will take a look at why you might want to start making Christian Mandalas.