Universal Faith Symbol, or Interfaith Emblem
 
 
Faith Symbol
 
THE Universal Symbol of Affirmation (Interfaith Emblem) represents spirit or being as one and infinite, as well as other interpretations. After modifications that took place over several years, the above design was finalized in 1999. It’s in the public domain and all are free to use it without charge or special permission.

We’re all familiar with the saying, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd.” While the number three is arbitrary, there are countless instances where it is associated with any value greater than two, which may be why people of such diverse backgrounds and cultures have perceived aspects of the divine in triune— to render comprehensible the infinite.

A sentence has three basic elements— subject, verb, and object. The 13th Century Jewish mystic Abraham Abulafia described the Master as “the knowledge, the knower, and the known.” A Sufi mystic called Divine Union “the union, the one who unites, and the one who is united.” One as three, one as many, one as infinite.

The faith symbol consists simply of an upright equilateral triangle, surrounded by a circle touching its three corners, and surrounded in turn by a heart outline in contact top and sides. The color, thickness, and precise overlap of the linear features are arbitrary, as well as the background (if any), and even the exact style and shape of the heart.

Upright triangles have symbolized God, power, fire, security, success, prosperity, and health. Circles have represented the eternal, the endless, the limitless, completeness, wholeness, and cycles such as birth and death. Heart shapes have been ideograms for charity, forgiveness, welcomings, emotion, and the soul, expanding from early religious origins.

These elements can be interpreted on a variety of levels and in many ways. In cosmic or universal being the triangle represents the structure or energy of the universe, natural law; the circle, like a regenerating cycle or open eye, shows life; and the heart stands for conscious creating, enjoying, and sharing, or love— law, life, and love.

To the extent that a philosophy or belief system is life-affirming, an interfaith symbol can apply. Thus there are pagan interpretations along with Christian, atheistic with theistic, naturalistic with mythological, scientific with mystic, etc. Although many of these systems disagree in their particulars they can find parallels on many levels.

For Unitarians and strict monotheists the three parts can represent main elements of faith rather than a partitioned or multifaceted concept of the divine, and can have different and/or multiple interpretations within each philosophy or belief.

For each system various attributes in triad can be assigned to the forms. Below is a table of representations, far from complete, listed alphabetically by faith or philosophy:
 
PHILOSOPHY
TRIANGLE
CIRCLE
HEART
Abrahamic Judaism Islam Christianity
Augustinian Being Knowledge Love
Baha’i God Manifestation Humanity
Being Law Life Love
Buddhist Buddha Dharma Sangha
Christian Father Son Holy Spirit
Dialectic Thesis Antithesis Synthesis
Feuerbachian Reason Will Love
Freudian Id Ego Superego
Hindu Brahma Vishnu Shiva
Holistic Body Mind Spirit
Ideal Truth Beauty Goodness
Islamic Prophet Koran Angels
Jain Faith Knowledge Conduct
Kabbalah God Torah Israel
Mahayana Truth Bliss Transformation
Micahic Justice Humility Kindness
Modalist Creator Redeemer Giver of Life
Mythological Creator Preserver Transformer
Naturalistic Reason Science Philosophy
Nature Masculine Balance Feminine
Neopagan Maiden Mother Crone
Neoplatonic One Nous World Soul
Purpose Pleasure Learning Sharing
Satori Zazen Koan Sanzen
Shakti Saraswati Lakshmi Parvati
Spiritual Being Consciousness Bliss
Tao Moderation Humility Love
Theological Faith Hope Love
Theosophical Unity Regularity Progress
Time Past Present Future
Transactional Parent Child Adult
Trimurti Creation Preservation Transformation
Unitarian Truth Justice Love
Zen All Is One One Is None None Is All
Zoroastrianism Good Thoughts Good Words Good Deeds
 

The triangle, circle, and heart are nested one inside another, suggesting unity or oneness, the triangle innermost and the heart outermost, the ultimate found within and love found without.

A palm tree, representative of victory, peace, prosperity, long life, resilience, rest, and hospitality is formed by the triangle as trunk and tops of circle and heart as branches. The faith symbol as a whole could be said to loosely resemble a smiling face, indicative of happiness and life quality.

The number of voids coincidentally is seven, perhaps next only to three the primary numeric in traditions of the world.

This interfaith symbol is fully inclusive in what is meant by faith— i.e. all life-affirming ideation whatever the ontology, extending even to forms beyond what many would consider religious or even spiritual, such as natural science, humanism, and other positive non-theistic systems.

While not demonstrative of belief in a particular God or gods, it represents acknowledgement of and appreciation for the wonder and mystery of being, and peace through fellowship based on essential commonality of spirit, understanding, and tolerance.

As noted above the faith symbol is an elemental design and as such in the public domain, neither copyrighted nor trademarked. It belongs to all of us. You and your organization are encouraged to use it freely to represent affirmation, openness, and interfaith unity. No agreement or license is required.

Here are some high-resolution graphic representations in different sizes and forms. For images with links back that you can use on your webpage click here. For variations click here.

For more info see FAQ.

revised 8/25/12 ~ public domain symbol
background photo by Wingchi Poon
faithsymbol.org is an outreach of the Unitheist Fellowship