|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Digital Books|
In the course of this essay, we have examined the presence and veneration of the Holy Icons in the light of history, Scripture, and the content of the Christian Faith. It has been shown that,
Early Christians probably began painting Images of Christ, of His Mother, and of holy people in their homes and churches largely as a spontaneous expression of their piety and love for their Lord. Honoring God and commemorating the Saints and events of Christ's life through artistic depictions probably seemed quite natural to them; it was common practice, as we have seen, in the Judaism from which Christianity emerged and to which it still held very close ties. These early Christians probably put little if any thought into the deeper implications and meanings of Christian iconography. And not much changed in these respects until over 700 years into the Christian era with the outbreak of the first-ever movement of iconoclasm within Christianity.
As a result of this movement to destroy and ban the Holy Icons, Christians were forced to take a deeper look at what they had been doing all along and to explore its implications and logical conclusions. What they found is that this practice of iconography which had been natural but largely lacking in deeper meaning thus far was in fact an essential aspect of the Christian Faith without which the primary truths of Christianity would be turned on their head. In short, what had been simply “traditional,” something that had always been done, had become a “Holy Tradition,” itself a central principle of Orthodox Christianity.
Article posted in English on: 21-1-2015.
Last Update: 21-1-2015.