The Theology Of Light W. Polis Christian culture exists not only in modes of life and in the realm of ethics and morality, but it is also deeply intertwined with the artist expression of the West. Whether that expression reifies Christian teachings, or even actively goes against it, the fact remains that the principle that informs western culture is Christianity.
Such images functioned as powerful relics as well as icons, and their images were naturally seen as especially authoritative as to the true appearance of the subject: Like icons believed to be painted directly from the live subject, they therefore acted as important references for other images in the tradition.
Beside the developed legend of the mandylion or Image of Edessawas the tale of the Veil of Veronicawhose very name signifies "true icon" or "true image", the fear of a "false image" remaining strong.
St Peter encaustic on panelc. Although there are earlier records of their use, no panel icons earlier than the few from the 6th century preserved at the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt survive,  as the other examples in Rome have all been drastically over-painted.
The surviving evidence for the earliest depictions of Christ, Mary and saints therefore comes from wall-paintings, mosaics and some carvings. They are broadly similar in style, though often much superior in quality, to the mummy portraits done in wax encaustic and found at Fayyum in Egypt.
As we may judge from such items, the first depictions of Jesus were generic rather than portrait images, generally representing him as a beardless young man. It was some time before the earliest examples of the long-haired, bearded face that was later to become standardized as the image of Jesus appeared.
When they did begin to appear there was still variation. Augustine of Hippo  said that no one knew the appearance of Jesus or that of Mary. However, Augustine was not a resident of the Holy Land and therefore was not familiar with the local populations and their oral traditions.
Gradually, paintings of Jesus took on characteristics of portrait images. At this time the manner of depicting Jesus was not yet uniform, and there was some controversy over which of the two most common icons was to be favored.
The first or "Semitic" form showed Jesus with short and "frizzy" hair; the second showed a bearded Jesus with hair parted in the middle, the manner in which the god Zeus was depicted. Theodorus Lector remarked  that of the two, the one with short and frizzy hair was "more authentic".
To support his assertion, he relates a story excerpted by John of Damascus that a pagan commissioned to paint an image of Jesus used the "Zeus" form instead of the "Semitic" form, and that as punishment his hands withered.
Though their development was gradual, we can date the full-blown appearance and general ecclesiastical as opposed to simply popular or local acceptance of Christian images as venerated and miracle-working objects to the 6th century, when, as Hans Belting writes,  "we first hear of the church's use of religious images.
However, the earlier references by Eusebius and Irenaeus indicate veneration of images and reported miracles associated with them as early as the 2nd century. What might be shocking to our contemporary eyes may not have been viewed as such by the early Christians.
Almost everything within the image has a symbolic aspect. Christ, the saints, and the angels all have halos. Angels and often John the Baptist have wings because they are messengers.
Figures have consistent facial appearances, hold attributes personal to them, and use a few conventional poses.
Colour plays an important role as well. Gold represents the radiance of Heaven; red, divine life. Blue is the color of human life, white is the Uncreated Light of God, only used for resurrection and transfiguration of Christ.
If you look at icons of Jesus and Mary: Jesus wears red undergarment with a blue outer garment God become Human and Mary wears a blue undergarment with a red overgarment human was granted gifts by Godthus the doctrine of deification is conveyed by icons.
Letters are symbols too. Most icons incorporate some calligraphic text naming the person or event depicted. Even this is often presented in a stylized manner.
Miracles[ edit ] Our Lady of St.
Theodorea copy of the 11th-century icon, following the same Byzantine "Tender Mercy" type as the Vladimirskaya above. In the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition there are reports of particular, Wonderworking icons that exude myrrh fragrant, healing oilor perform miracles upon petition by believers.
When such reports are verified by the Orthodox hierarchy, they are understood as miracles performed by God through the prayers of the saint, rather than being magical properties of the painted wood itself.The iconodules based their theology upon the view of Athanasius—who reflected Alexandrian Christology—that Christ, the God become human, is the visible, earthly, and corporeal icon of the heavenly Father, created by God himself.
rutadeltambor.com Icon of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos. The following text is the transcript of the third lesson on the Theology of Orthodox icons by the workshop for icon-making, delivered on Friday, November 18th, , by father Constantine Strategopoulos, vicar of the Church of the Dormition of the Holy Metropolis of Glyfada, Attica.
Just as a cathedral is a presencing of God, so an icon is a presencing of the transformational nature and quality of God.
It is in the icon that a worshipper may see the process that this transformation takes – from the mundane into the spiritual, from the physical to the metaphysical, from the ordinary to the mystical. Metropolitan HILARION (Alfeyev) THEOLOGY OF ICON IN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.
Lecture at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. 5 February Archpriest Alexander Schmemann was very sensitive to the significance of beauty and harmony for the spiritual life.
Theology of the Icon (2-Volume Set) [Leonid Ouspensky] on rutadeltambor.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
The Theology of the Icon includes more than the basic theory of the transfiguration of beauty and the sanctification of art. It is a fundamental element in the entire body of Orthodox Tradition. In this two-volume work/5(6). Theology of Byzantine Icons by Archimandrite Vasileios, Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Stavronikita The Lord is «the unchanging icon of Being» (St John of Damaskos, canon of the Transfiguration).
Every icon is related to but is not identical with its archetype. The Lord, being of one essence with the Father, is the most perfect icon that can exist.