61 pages 2 hours read

S. A. Cosby

All the Sinners Bleed

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2023

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Symbols & Motifs

Religious Iconography

Religious iconography symbolizes the pervasive cultural influence of Christianity, as well as the myriad pseudo-Christian ideologies masquerading as true religions. As such, religious iconography helps to develop the theme of The Christ-Haunted South and the Misuse of Religion. Specifically, Royce Lazare murders people in a grim parody of a church that he built himself. The structure is decorated with statues and pictures of angels, and Royce views himself as a kind of fallen angel as well, for in addition to being given the name “Gabriel,” he also chooses the pseudonym “Azrael,” or the angel of death. Angels are a significant type of Christian imagery because they are almost always based more on folklore than on actual Bible verses, especially in terms of their appearance in artwork. Royce’s use of biblically inaccurate words and iconography illustrates the dangers of twisting scripture to justify evil actions. Through his crimes, Royce really does render Charon County “Christ-haunted.”

Religious iconography is also used to explore the nature of evil, whether it is something supernatural, or whether it is merely human. To Titus, angels, demons, God, and the devil are all imaginary supernatural forces, and at their worst, these concepts can distract people from the true, human evils at hand.