Mirror of Hope

– Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Central to the Mirror of Hope is a classical symbol of salvation—the mountain. The Mountain of Salvation became very popular during the Baroque period and replaced other symbols of salvation such as the Mirror of Human Salvation and the Bible of the Poor of the Middle Ages. The mountain is a universal and biblical symbol of divine revelation and sacred space—the juncture between heaven and earth and the place of encounter with God. Within Hanna's presentation of a mountain is a circular movement—a cycle of love. It is the narrative of God's love for his creation and humanity's response. On the left, there is a descent representing the creation of the world and the history of civilization seen as a combination of God's gracious gifts and human resourcefulness. Here we have a descending movement. The base and right flank of the sculpture suggest an ascending movement. It represents the story of redemption: beginning with the promise to Abraham and Mary, leading from Bethlehem to Cana and to Calvary, and taking the people of God back to the point of departure and fulfillment on the mountain's top. Here again, it is suggested that God's work is not achieved without human participation. The latter aspect, human participation, is best illustrated with the discreet but active presence of the figure of Mary in most of the scenes picturing Jesus' life and that of his followers.

This sculpture is built and organized around four cardinal points or architectural structures. We see on top what biblical tradition calls the City on the Mount, to the left the tall but sturdy Tower of Babel, at the bottom and center of the mountain the wide open Stable of the Nativity, and to the right the elegant steeples of the Temple-Cathedral.

The City on the Mount
The Tower of Babel
The Stable of the Nativity
The House of God

Take a Video Tour

Watch and listen as Marian Library docent, Ann Persensky, points out the many meaningful details in the Mirror of Hope. 

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Mirror of Hope

This 110-page book is filled with large photographs that enhance the smallest details in the structure. You will be introduced to the artist, Kevina Hanna, and to his creative processes. You will travel through the Mirror of Hope piece-by-piece and scene-by-scene experiencing the story of salvation history.

Author: Johann G. Roten, S.M. | Photography: Robert B. Breen | Design: Ann E. Zlotnik

Printer: Meyers Printing and Design, Dayton, Ohio, 2012

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International Marian Research Institute

300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469