The Truth of an Icon

Icons are lovely objects – directing our hearts towards God – sometimes miraculous and truly “windows to heaven.” But I want to be somewhat theological today and¬†write about the “truth” of an icon. Icons are peculiar, when painted according to the most traditional patterns. They are not just “ahistorical” they are positively¬†non-historical. We can look at an icon and see any number of events depicted that do not belong to the same‚Ķ

Restoring the Image of Christ

Today marked the Sunday of Orthodoxy, a day on which the Orthodox celebrate the return of the images to the Church’s during the time of the Empress Theodora. It is also a day on which the Orthodox faith in its fullness is reaffirmed by the people and the clergy. This year I spoke at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Parma, Ohio, for the gathering sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Council of Orthodox‚Ķ

The Icon of Music

Orthodox theology is a “seamless garment”: no part of Orthodox doctrine, worship, prayer or life stands in a category of its own. Everything refers and reveals the one thing in Christ – our salvation. Even the doctrine of the Trinity, as utterly sublime as it is, remains a matter revealed for our salvation. Because this inter-relatedness is true it is possible to speak of Scripture as a “verbal icon” (Florovsky), or to‚Ķ

The Allegory of All Things

Andrew Louth, writing in his book, Discerning the Mystery, says: If we look back to the Fathers, and the tradition, for inspiration as to the nature of theology, there is one thing we meet which must be paused over and discussed in some detail: and that is their use of allegory in interpreting the Scriptures. We can see already that for them it was not a superfluous, stylistic habit, something we can…

V. Lossky and St. Paul on the Theology of the Image

If man is logikos…if he is “in the image” of the Logos, everything which touches the destiny of man – grace, sin, redemption by the Word made man – must also be related to the theology of the image. And we may say the same of the Church, the sacraments, sanctification, and the end of all things. There is no branch of theological teaching which can be entirely isolated from the problem‚Ķ

The Icon as Proof of God’s Existence

God ‚Äúadorns himself in magnificence and clothes himself with beauty.‚ÄĚ Man stands amazed and contemplates the glory whose light causes a hymn of praise to burst forth from the heart of every creature. The Testamentum Domini gives us the following prayer: ‚ÄúLet them be filled with the Holy Spirit‚Ķso they can sing a doxology and give you praise and glory forever.‚ÄĚ An icon is the same kind of doxology but in a‚Ķ

Icons and Truth

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. In the last several posts I have written about the iconic character of reality – the world about us has the character of an icon. I have also noted the iconic character of language and of Scripture. There is much to say about what is meant by such descriptions as well as what it means to see things in an “iconic”‚Ķ

Icons and the Smashing of Images

My recent series on iconicity would seem to require a word or two about the smashing of images (iconoclasm). +++ I have a quote on the sidebar from an earlier posting. It is about the need we have for proper images and the danger inherent in “image smashing” or “iconoclasm.” We have to¬†renounce iconoclasm. In so doing, we inherently set ourselves against certain forces within modernity. The truth is¬†eschatological, that is, it‚Ķ

Drawn Ever Deeper

On translation and the iconicity of language – this comment posted earlier today is worth more attention: I’ve been enjoying thinking about your words on the subject of there being something revealing about the act and result of translation. It makes me think of weeping and other miraculous icons. The particular icon, written faithfully according to the canons, nevertheless is already a unique expression of the truth into which every occasion/expression of‚Ķ

Icons and Words

With this post I want to make a link between my last article, on how we “see” icons, and an earlier article, “Doctrine and Opinion,” in which I quoted the late Fr. Georges Florovsky who said, “Doctrine is a verbal icon of Christ.” I noted then that this presented a very different approach to doctrine and the usual reasoned treatments that accompany it. Human reason has a very vital role to play‚Ķ