Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. The phoenix was subsequently adopted as a symbol in Early Christianity. In his study of the phoenix, R. van der Broek summarizes, that, in the historical record, the phoenix "could symbolize renewal in general as well as the sun, Time, the Empire, metempsychosis, consecration, resurrection, life in the heavenly Paradise, Christ, Mary, virginity, the exceptional man, and certain aspects of Christian life".
Scholars have observed analogues to the phoenix in a variety of cultures. These analogues include the Persian anka, the Hindu garuda and Gandaberunda, the Russian firebird, the Persian simorgh, the Turkish kerkes, the Tibetan Me byi karmo, the Chinese fenghuang, and the Japanese hō-ō.