Background to the Exhibition
Cambridge has long been a focal point for radical and disruptive ideas, and for launching movements that changed society. Many were religious in nature – such as when the Dutch scholar Erasmus published his revised New Testament in Cambridge in 1516, which paved the way for the Protestant Reformation.
His work influenced the German monk Martin Luther, whose radical writings were first smuggled into England via Cambridge around 1520. These were outlawed and his books burned outside Great St Mary’s, next to where the Archetypes stand today.
However, the Reformation took root in Cambridge and helped spur the development of the English language and literacy, advances in early modern science, and the importance of acting according to conscience.
A century later this had birthed the Puritan movement and Cambridge MP Oliver Cromwell established the supremacy of Parliament over the rule of the monarch. Other Cambridge Puritans helped found some of the first colonies in New England.
Liviu Mocan originally had the idea of the Archetypes exhibition during the lead up to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. He was interested in the five 'solas' which summed up the theology of the movement, and wanted to create sculptures which would capture something of the spiritual energy of the Reformers (see video below). The sculptures, archetypes and solas are linked thus:
The Anchor Cast up to Heaven: Belief (sola fides - by faith alone)
The Trumpet in the Universe: Destiny (soli Deo gloria - God's glory alone)
The Ladder of the World: Transcendence (solus Christus - Christ alone)
The Lamb of God: Sacrifice (sola gratia - by grace alone)
The Book that Reads You: Revelation (sola scriptura - by scripture alone)
The exhibition provides a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the cultural and spiritual significance of the Reformation in the context of wider, more universal archetypes.
The sculptures are made from brass, but the creative method uses computer assisted design, 3D printing, laser and water jet cutting, and advanced welding techniques. They were made in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where Liviu Mocan lives and works.
Jubilee Centre promotes social reform today by offering a faith-based perspective on social, economic and political issues, through research, training and events. It has set up national campaigns like Keep Sunday Special and launched several other organisations promoting social reform.
Great St Mary’s has been at the heart of Cambridge for at least 800 years, welcoming people from many backgrounds and nationalities. It is the University Church and has played a significant part in the history of the City and University of Cambridge. www.gsm.cam.ac.uk