Summer Sharing: Duncan Hartley

george by duncan
Photo by Duncan Hartley

Many wonder why PUMC’s Tiffany window shows St. George and the Dragon. “The legend of St. George and the Dragon is simply an allegorical expression of the triumph of  the Christian hero, or the church, over evil,” says Duncan Hartley. “Having dared to criticize a Roman emperor, St. George was subjected to horrible torture. ”

Duncan will talk about the window in the Summer Sharing series on Sunday, August 28, at 11:15 a.m. (after the 10 am service) in Fellowship Hall. His title: “My Life Through a Lens: from Shakespeare to St. George.” 

The dragon has been a Christian symbol of sin since the Middle Ages. The metaphor is taken from Revelation 12:9 where Satan is termed “the great dragon” and “that old serpent.” In Psalm 91:13 it is written that “the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.”

Christian art and literature has made frequent use of this symbolism. “Tudor duncanpoet Edmund Spenser, for example, named the Redcrosse Knight as the champion of holiness in The Fairie Queen,” says Duncan. “The knight and Una, representing the true religion, are finally betrothed after he has killed the dragon. The figure Gloriana represents glory in the abstract, and Queen Elizabeth I in particular. ” St. George became the patron saint of England in the 14th century and is now the patron saint of Moscow. Many of the most famous artists depicted St. George, and almost every major museum has a painting of him.


2016 august George Tiffany Durrell label 8246450915_8693f1433d_b
Photo by Duncan Hartley