The monumental sculpture « invitation/decalogue » was made by Romanian artist Liviu Mocan for the 500th anniversary in Geneva of John Calvin’s birth. Ten columns 4.6m high are set in a circle; the inside face of each column resembles a human finger, while the outer edge narrows to a vertical blade.
The title « invitation/decalogue » reflects the inspiration behind the sculpture:
• The Decalogue is an ancient code for moral and spiritual development, commonly known as the Ten Commandments.
• John Calvin saw the Decalogue as the centre of God’s law in the Bible; Jesus Christ summarised it as to love God with all your heart, and love others as yourself. Calvin used this to guide the reformation of Genevan church and society in the 16th century.
• Liviu Mocan sub-titles the sculpture “God’s hands”. The ten giant fingers correspond to the Ten Commandments, and the sculptor tries to illustrate the peace, justice and security that God’s law was intended to create.
• Hands – an invitation to relationship: the Decalogue is not just an impersonal set of laws, but is an expression of God’s love and desire for good and right relationships
• Contrasting faces – an invitation to ethical reflection: the two sides of each pillar reflect the dual consequences of God’s law: it generally goes well for us when we respect the law; but negative consequences follow when the law is disregarded.
• Circle – an invitation to freedom: the Decalogue creates a space of freedom to do good and live at peace with others.
• Massive columns – an invitation to hope: throughout history the Decalogue has helped shape societies that are characterised by freedom, justice and peace, and can still do the same in today’s troubled world.