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Images: required?

Serge

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In another thread someone said the Seventh Ecumenical Council teaches that the use of images in worship is de fide, required.

I disagree.

The church includes cultures/rites that don't use them (the Nestorian Rite). All you have to believe is that your brethren using them aren't heretics for so doing.

A thought: like the Byzantine Rite requires them, maybe it was just a rule, not a doctrine. Like how Trent said the Mass had to be in Latin, but that's not de fide. Or the Russians require the services to be in Slavonic in Russia; the Greeks in Greece medieval Greek. Just rules.
 

Sam G

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The young fogey said:
In another thread someone said the Seventh Ecumenical Council teaches that the use of images in worship is de fide, required.

I disagree.
Before jumping to conclusions, let's check and see what the council actually says.

The Third Anathema of the Second Council of Nicaea:

"If anyone does not salute such representations as standing for the Lord and his saints, let him be anathema."


 

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The relevant bit of Nicea II (from http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/nicaea2.htm):
Given this state of affairs and stepping out as though on the royal highway, following as we are the God-spoken teaching of our holy fathers and the tradition of the catholic church — for we recognize that this tradition comes from the holy Spirit who dwells in her—we decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images, whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways, these are the images of our Lord, God and saviour, Jesus Christ, and of our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and of the revered angels and of any of the saintly holy men.
The more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are those who see them drawn to remember and long for those who serve as models, and to pay these images the tribute of salutation and respectful veneration.
So given that, I think "it's not in our culture" would be somewhat insufficient to justify not having images, if their use is said by the Council Fathers to be indisputably beneficial for encouraging adoration of Christ and veneration of His saints.
Also, as the Assyrian priest Fr. Ephraim Ashur Alkhas explains in his blog (written during his brief period in the Orthodox Church of Antioch), icons are in fact used in the Assyrian tradition; their current disuse is essentially a modern phenomenon. In fact, an icon is actually canonically required to be on an altar, in addition to a cross, for the altar to be consecrated (http://http://eastmeetseastblog.blogspot.ca/2012/09/assyrian-churchs-theology-of-icons-part.html):
Second, the Rite of Consecrating an Altar with Oil contains instructions of what A Church of the East altar is to have. After sanctifying the tbelayta (also called dappa or cursya, being a board of fruit-wood which is used much as an antimension is in the Byzantine Churches), the elements necessary for a liturgy are set upon the altar. Here are the rubrics that describe that, which follow the anointing of the altar and the tbelayta:
“And now they put all of the sacred vessels, with which they serve the holy mysteries: the paten and chalice and fans; the icon on high, and the aer and veils and stoles; and the vestments of the altar: except the cross and Gospel-Book.(ܛܟܼܣܐ ܕܟܗ̈ܢܐ ܕܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ܆ܡܫܠ̱ܝܐܝܬܼ ܐܝܟ ܛܘܟܣܐ ܕܕܝܪܐ ܥܠܝܬܐ، ܩܫ܊ ܝܘܣܦ ܕܒܝܬ ܩܠܝܬܐ، ܡܘܨܠ. 1928. ܦܬ 399”) (Priest Service Book of the Church of the East, Ed. J. Kelaita (Mosul, 1928), pg 399-400).

The Rite of Consecrating an Altar with Oil dates to Mar Ishoyahb III, the Patriarch (649-659) who has a tremendous impact on the canonical offices, three liturgies as well as sacraments of the Church of the East. The rite as contained in the current and official Priest’s Service Book contains the rubric and it has not been amended to discount the role of the icon. When an altar is consecrated, the rubrics still require the icon although it has not been done in practice for some time. Indeed, according to this rite, the icon on high is counted amongst the necessary items needed to serve a liturgy, not within the secondary items such as the censer, zone-belt, alb, service book, etc. The icon, infers the rubric of Mar Ishoyahb, is essential rather than optional for every liturgy.
I highly advise reading the rest of the article for more information on how important icons are in the East Syrian tradition.
 

LBK

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The Orthodox Church not only regards the production and veneration of icons as permissible, but as necessary, mandatory and not negotiable, as the anathemas against the iconoclasts clearly express. Moreover, the Orthodox Church has instituted the annual feast of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, held on the first Sunday of Great Lent, which commemorates the restoration of iconography to its rightful place in worship and devotion. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Iconoclasm is, at its core and essence, a denial of the fullness of the Incarnation of God.

Links to some of the services:

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/vespers1.htm
http://www.anastasis.org.uk/synodikon.htm
http://www.anastasis.org.uk/canon_of_the_synodikon.htm
 

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The young fogey said:
In another thread someone said the Seventh Ecumenical Council teaches that the use of images in worship is de fide, required.

I disagree.

The church includes cultures/rites that don't use them (the Nestorian Rite). All you have to believe is that your brethren using them aren't heretics for so doing.

A thought: like the Byzantine Rite requires them, maybe it was just a rule, not a doctrine. Like how Trent said the Mass had to be in Latin, but that's not de fide. Or the Russians require the services to be in Slavonic in Russia; the Greeks in Greece medieval Greek. Just rules.
A church that does not allow any icons is by definition iconoclast and heretical.  If the Ecumenical Council which put an end to iconoclasm and saw the return of icons to churches is celebrated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy", and if the Church celebrates many confessors and martyrs specifically for their defense of icons, how can iconography be considered non-mandatory or optional?  Even in the poorest churches in impoverished areas of the world they are usually able to acquire at least a few icons, whether printed on paper or hand painted, whether donated or bought.  Because iconoclasm is heretical, it is mandatory for Orthodox churches to have icons.
 

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The young fogey said:
In another thread someone said the Seventh Ecumenical Council teaches that the use of images in worship is de fide, required.

I disagree.

The church includes cultures/rites that don't use them (the Nestorian Rite). All you have to believe is that your brethren using them aren't heretics for so doing.

A thought: like the Byzantine Rite requires them, maybe it was just a rule, not a doctrine. Like how Trent said the Mass had to be in Latin, but that's not de fide. Or the Russians require the services to be in Slavonic in Russia; the Greeks in Greece medieval Greek. Just rules.
Is Munificentissius Deus just a rule?
Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
 

WPM

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Church doctrine is muddled with personal opinion.
 

WPM

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The young fogey said:
In another thread someone said the Seventh Ecumenical Council teaches that the use of images in worship is de fide, required.

I disagree.

The church includes cultures/rites that don't use them (the Nestorian Rite). All you have to believe is that your brethren using them aren't heretics for so doing.

A thought: like the Byzantine Rite requires them, maybe it was just a rule, not a doctrine. Like how Trent said the Mass had to be in Latin, but that's not de fide. Or the Russians require the services to be in Slavonic in Russia; the Greeks in Greece medieval Greek. Just rules.
What you're doing is a play on words of dressed up church language, ... It doesn't really mean anything, ..
 

Agabus

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LBK said:
The Orthodox Church not only regards the production and veneration of icons as permissible, but as necessary, mandatory and not negotiable, as the anathemas against the iconoclasts clearly express.
But does the council mandate the form?
 

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Agabus said:
LBK said:
The Orthodox Church not only regards the production and veneration of icons as permissible, but as necessary, mandatory and not negotiable, as the anathemas against the iconoclasts clearly express.
But does the council mandate the form?
If it does, it's likely just Byzantine form.
 

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From what I read, the Nestorians or Assyrian Church of the East is supposedly Iconoclastic because of Islamic influences rather than actually self opting willingly to give them up.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Regnare said:
The relevant bit of Nicea II (from http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/nicaea2.htm):
Given this state of affairs and stepping out as though on the royal highway, following as we are the God-spoken teaching of our holy fathers and the tradition of the catholic church — for we recognize that this tradition comes from the holy Spirit who dwells in her—we decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images, whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways, these are the images of our Lord, God and saviour, Jesus Christ, and of our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and of the revered angels and of any of the saintly holy men.
The more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are those who see them drawn to remember and long for those who serve as models, and to pay these images the tribute of salutation and respectful veneration.
So given that, I think "it's not in our culture" would be somewhat insufficient to justify not having images, if their use is said by the Council Fathers to be indisputably beneficial for encouraging adoration of Christ and veneration of His saints.
Assuming the translation is accurate, I come away from this with a slightly different reading.  I don't think the canon is "mandating" icons in the sense that "every single church and home ought to have them and not having them is henceforth forbidden", though it is easy to read that into the text if the inherited tradition basically treats icons in this way (as it does in EO).  I read this as an endorsement of icons: not merely a permitted option (as TYF might have it), but something less than an obligation.  And I think that makes sense in light of the controversy this council intended to address.

I find TYF's invocation of "It's not in our culture" to be irrelevant because I think he conflates the doctrinal content of Nicaea II with much of the post-Nicaea II piety surrounding icons.   

Also, as the Assyrian priest Fr. Ephraim Ashur Alkhas explains in his blog (written during his brief period in the Orthodox Church of Antioch), icons are in fact used in the Assyrian tradition; their current disuse is essentially a modern phenomenon. In fact, an icon is actually canonically required to be on an altar, in addition to a cross, for the altar to be consecrated (http://http://eastmeetseastblog.blogspot.ca/2012/09/assyrian-churchs-theology-of-icons-part.html):
Second, the Rite of Consecrating an Altar with Oil contains instructions of what A Church of the East altar is to have. After sanctifying the tbelayta (also called dappa or cursya, being a board of fruit-wood which is used much as an antimension is in the Byzantine Churches), the elements necessary for a liturgy are set upon the altar. Here are the rubrics that describe that, which follow the anointing of the altar and the tbelayta:
“And now they put all of the sacred vessels, with which they serve the holy mysteries: the paten and chalice and fans; the icon on high, and the aer and veils and stoles; and the vestments of the altar: except the cross and Gospel-Book.(ܛܟܼܣܐ ܕܟܗ̈ܢܐ ܕܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ܆ܡܫܠ̱ܝܐܝܬܼ ܐܝܟ ܛܘܟܣܐ ܕܕܝܪܐ ܥܠܝܬܐ، ܩܫ܊ ܝܘܣܦ ܕܒܝܬ ܩܠܝܬܐ، ܡܘܨܠ. 1928. ܦܬ 399”) (Priest Service Book of the Church of the East, Ed. J. Kelaita (Mosul, 1928), pg 399-400).

The Rite of Consecrating an Altar with Oil dates to Mar Ishoyahb III, the Patriarch (649-659) who has a tremendous impact on the canonical offices, three liturgies as well as sacraments of the Church of the East. The rite as contained in the current and official Priest’s Service Book contains the rubric and it has not been amended to discount the role of the icon. When an altar is consecrated, the rubrics still require the icon although it has not been done in practice for some time. Indeed, according to this rite, the icon on high is counted amongst the necessary items needed to serve a liturgy, not within the secondary items such as the censer, zone-belt, alb, service book, etc. The icon, infers the rubric of Mar Ishoyahb, is essential rather than optional for every liturgy.
I highly advise reading the rest of the article for more information on how important icons are in the East Syrian tradition.
Because I know the author, his history, and have spoken to him about some of these issues in the past, I am not sure I could vouch for his interpretation.  I would love to read the liturgical text he cites for myself and would be open to correction, but based on the practice of his closest ecclesiastical neighbour to the West, I would disagree and contend that the author is reading in ("inferring") a requirement that is not actually there in order to establish a connection between Chalcedonian tradition and that of the Assyrians. 

West Syriac liturgical practice when consecrating altars is identical to the East Syriac practice described above: after the mensa of the altar and the tablitho (one or several) are consecrated with chrism, the items necessary for the altar are consecrated.  They include "the paten and chalice and fans; ...and the aer and veils and stoles; and the vestments of the altar: except the cross and Gospel-Book" but not the icon(s).  There is a separate prayer for the blessing of icons and an indication that they are anointed with oil (but not chrism), but it is not a part of the rite for consecrating altars because the icon(s) is not kept on the altar and is not used in the liturgical service of the altar (i.e., the Eucharist).  In fact, other items are consecrated (in addition to those mentioned) precisely because they are used at the altar: candlesticks, lamps (if applicable), the "missal stand", etc.  Icons play no role in the rite of the Liturgy, and so they are not included.  I suppose you could include them (but they would have to be anointed with oil, not chrism), but I've never seen it done or written into the rubrics as a requirement.   

Regarding the "secondary" items (e.g., censer, liturgical vestments), these are not blessed because they are necessary to perform the rite in the first place, and so they should've already been blessed in advance, borrowed from another church, etc. 

If Fr Alkhas' main point is that the Assyrian tradition is not opposed to icons in theory even if they fell out of use for a long time, I think that's acceptable: icons are allowed, icons are blessed, etc.  But to read or infer "requirements" (e.g., an icon is necessary for the celebration of the Liturgy) that aren't where they are claimed to be is quite a bit different and I think is being done to advance an agenda. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
sakura95 said:
From what I read, the Nestorians or Assyrian Church of the East is supposedly Iconoclastic because of Islamic influences rather than actually self opting willingly to give them up.
Egypt.
Worth mentioning that much of Islam in the region, especially Persian/Iranian, was often less iconoclastic than in other parts of the Muslim world.


 

WPM

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Intricate Islamic Art is pretty cool but its not about religion.
 

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Agabus said:
LBK said:
The Orthodox Church not only regards the production and veneration of icons as permissible, but as necessary, mandatory and not negotiable, as the anathemas against the iconoclasts clearly express.
But does the council mandate the form?
Yes it does. It forbids the portrayal of Christ in symbolic, metaphysical or prefigurative forms such as a lamb, as these are mere types and shadows, and do not express and proclaim the fullness of His Incarnation. Canon 82 of the Quinisext Council accepts that these forms once had their place, but are now inferior and inadequate in expressing the trith and fullness of the revelation of God:

In certain reproductions of venerable images, the Forerunner is pictured pointing to the lamb with his finger. This representation was adopted as a symbol of grace. It was a hidden figure of that true Lamb who is Christ our God, shown to us according to the Law. Having thus welcomed these ancient figures and shadows as symbols of the truth transmitted to the Church, we prefer today grace and truth themselves, as a fulfilment of the Law. Therefore, in order to expose to the sight of all, at least with the help of painting, that which is perfect, we decree that henceforth Christ our God be represented in His human form, and not in the form of the ancient lamb. We understand this to be the elevation of the humility of God the Word, and we are led to remembering His life in the flesh, His passion, His saving death and, thus, deliverance which took place for the world.

The necessity of representing Christ in human, not symbolic form is a direct rebuttal to Arianism, Nestorianism, and other heresies which did not regard Christ as fully human and fully God.
 

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Nephi said:
Mor Ephrem said:
sakura95 said:
From what I read, the Nestorians or Assyrian Church of the East is supposedly Iconoclastic because of Islamic influences rather than actually self opting willingly to give them up.
Egypt.
Worth mentioning that much of Islam in the region, especially Persian/Iranian, was often less iconoclastic than in other parts of the Muslim world.


This is intriguing, I never knew that there are branches of Islam that wasn't so Iconoclastic. All the Muslims I know said that any image of the Prophet is forbidden.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
sakura95 said:
From what I read, the Nestorians or Assyrian Church of the East is supposedly Iconoclastic because of Islamic influences rather than actually self opting willingly to give them up.
Egypt.
Ok, fair enough but if perhaps Islamic influences do not cause the Assyrian Church's supposed Iconoclasm then what did? Why does the Assyrian Church lack Icons?
 

minasoliman

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LBK said:
Agabus said:
LBK said:
The Orthodox Church not only regards the production and veneration of icons as permissible, but as necessary, mandatory and not negotiable, as the anathemas against the iconoclasts clearly express.
But does the council mandate the form?
Yes it does. It forbids the portrayal of Christ in symbolic, metaphysical or prefigurative forms such as a lamb, as these are mere types and shadows, and do not express and proclaim the fullness of His Incarnation. Canon 82 of the Quinisext Council accepts that these forms once had their place, but are now inferior and inadequate in expressing the trith and fullness of the revelation of God:

In certain reproductions of venerable images, the Forerunner is pictured pointing to the lamb with his finger. This representation was adopted as a symbol of grace. It was a hidden figure of that true Lamb who is Christ our God, shown to us according to the Law. Having thus welcomed these ancient figures and shadows as symbols of the truth transmitted to the Church, we prefer today grace and truth themselves, as a fulfilment of the Law. Therefore, in order to expose to the sight of all, at least with the help of painting, that which is perfect, we decree that henceforth Christ our God be represented in His human form, and not in the form of the ancient lamb. We understand this to be the elevation of the humility of God the Word, and we are led to remembering His life in the flesh, His passion, His saving death and, thus, deliverance which took place for the world.

The necessity of representing Christ in human, not symbolic form is a direct rebuttal to Arianism, Nestorianism, and other heresies which did not regard Christ as fully human and fully God.
This is where I part ways in confusion of this debate.  But not to get into a very deep discussion on other issues relating to iconology so that we don't veer off topic, I do want to say that I think it might be extreme to say icons are mandatory.  Iconoclasm is a heresy, yes.  We all agree to that.  But the lack of icons in liturgy does not equate iconoclasm, nor is it a travesty.  Neither should the lack of icons mean that they are against veneration.  If someone is willing to donate their efforts for the Church, that's wonderful.  But based on the prices of icons, I can't just mandate parishes to use them (I one time printed huge copies of icons and had them laminated on my own price in an island where there's no Orthodox church, so that we can feel like at home in a Coptic Church while we're praying once a week together the hours).  They're not allowed to condemn anyone who venerates them, but to say that it is mandatory to have them in liturgical service is not something I am fully convinced of.

 

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sakura95 said:
This is intriguing, I never knew that there are branches of Islam that wasn't so Iconoclastic. All the Muslims I know said that any image of the Prophet is forbidden.
It seems to me that it's primarily Sunni Islam that's so iconoclastic. Shi'a Islam tends to be more open to it, while Sufism can be completely fine with it. That said, each of those no doubt vary among themselves based on tradition/school, considering how Islam is so diverse. The latter two groups are even varyingly okay with saint veneration.

Although modern Islam may have confessionalized more universally on the no-depicting-Muhammad thing, IDK.
 

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sakura95 said:
Mor Ephrem said:
sakura95 said:
From what I read, the Nestorians or Assyrian Church of the East is supposedly Iconoclastic because of Islamic influences rather than actually self opting willingly to give them up.
Egypt.
Ok, fair enough but if perhaps Islamic influences do not cause the Assyrian Church's supposed Iconoclasm then what did? Why does the Assyrian Church lack Icons?
Why should the Assyrian Church have them?  Why immediately "suppose iconoclasm"? 
 

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minasoliman said:
LBK said:
Agabus said:
LBK said:
The Orthodox Church not only regards the production and veneration of icons as permissible, but as necessary, mandatory and not negotiable, as the anathemas against the iconoclasts clearly express.
But does the council mandate the form?
Yes it does. It forbids the portrayal of Christ in symbolic, metaphysical or prefigurative forms such as a lamb, as these are mere types and shadows, and do not express and proclaim the fullness of His Incarnation. Canon 82 of the Quinisext Council accepts that these forms once had their place, but are now inferior and inadequate in expressing the trith and fullness of the revelation of God:

In certain reproductions of venerable images, the Forerunner is pictured pointing to the lamb with his finger. This representation was adopted as a symbol of grace. It was a hidden figure of that true Lamb who is Christ our God, shown to us according to the Law. Having thus welcomed these ancient figures and shadows as symbols of the truth transmitted to the Church, we prefer today grace and truth themselves, as a fulfilment of the Law. Therefore, in order to expose to the sight of all, at least with the help of painting, that which is perfect, we decree that henceforth Christ our God be represented in His human form, and not in the form of the ancient lamb. We understand this to be the elevation of the humility of God the Word, and we are led to remembering His life in the flesh, His passion, His saving death and, thus, deliverance which took place for the world.

The necessity of representing Christ in human, not symbolic form is a direct rebuttal to Arianism, Nestorianism, and other heresies which did not regard Christ as fully human and fully God.
This is where I part ways in confusion of this debate.  But not to get into a very deep discussion on other issues relating to iconology so that we don't veer off topic, I do want to say that I think it might be extreme to say icons are mandatory.  Iconoclasm is a heresy, yes.  We all agree to that.  But the lack of icons in liturgy does not equate iconoclasm, nor is it a travesty.  Neither should the lack of icons mean that they are against veneration.  If someone is willing to donate their efforts for the Church, that's wonderful.  But based on the prices of icons, I can't just mandate parishes to use them (I one time printed huge copies of icons and had them laminated on my own price in an island where there's no Orthodox church, so that we can feel like at home in a Coptic Church while we're praying once a week together the hours).  They're not allowed to condemn anyone who venerates them, but to say that it is mandatory to have them in liturgical service is not something I am fully convinced of.
I speak from the EO POV, not the OO.

but to say that it is mandatory to have them in liturgical service is not something I am fully convinced of.
This is indeed the case in the EOC. The absolute minimum requirements of items for a Divine Liturgy to proceed are an antimension, a table of some sort, the Eucharistic vessels, and two icons: one of Christ, one of the Mother of God.
 

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This is reminding me of a story told by Mor a long time ago:

Mor Ephrem said:
A friend tells the story of an incident during a class here at school.  In one of the classrooms, they were about to start the lecture with a prayer, but when everyone turned to the corner where the icons usually are, they found bare walls: they were taken down while the room was being cleaned and/or repainted.  The priest looked everywhere for the icons, and wanted to find them before starting the prayer.  This went on for a couple of minutes, I guess.  Afterwards, an Indian friend remarked to some other friends over lunch "What's wrong with these people?!  They can't pray without icons?!"  :)
 

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Salpy said:
This is reminding me of a story told by Mor a long time ago:

Mor Ephrem said:
A friend tells the story of an incident during a class here at school.  In one of the classrooms, they were about to start the lecture with a prayer, but when everyone turned to the corner where the icons usually are, they found bare walls: they were taken down while the room was being cleaned and/or repainted.  The priest looked everywhere for the icons, and wanted to find them before starting the prayer.  This went on for a couple of minutes, I guess.  Afterwards, an Indian friend remarked to some other friends over lunch "What's wrong with these people?!  They can't pray without icons?!"  :)
Ah, 2005.  Within a year or two, I would live this story. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
sakura95 said:
Mor Ephrem said:
sakura95 said:
From what I read, the Nestorians or Assyrian Church of the East is supposedly Iconoclastic because of Islamic influences rather than actually self opting willingly to give them up.
Egypt.
Ok, fair enough but if perhaps Islamic influences do not cause the Assyrian Church's supposed Iconoclasm then what did? Why does the Assyrian Church lack Icons?
Why should the Assyrian Church have them?  Why immediately "suppose iconoclasm"? 
I used "Supposed" in the sense that the assumption of the Assyrian Church's lack of Icons or perhaps its lack of Icons in some of its parishes is not necessarily true despite appearing as such.

Well, the Assyrian Church did used Icons before at least based on what I read on the East meets East blog in which the author, proposes the possibility of Islam being a cause for the sudden disuse of Icons.

I have simply one reason as to why the Assyrian Church of the East should have Icons, it is an Apostolic Church and its lack of Icons can be exploited by Protestant apologists seeking to refute Orthodoxy through using the Assyrian's lack of Icons as a support for not having or using Icons and Imagery in worship. Quotes from the Church Fathers have been manipulated and twisted by many Protestants so I don't see how this would be impossible.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Salpy said:
This is reminding me of a story told by Mor a long time ago:

Mor Ephrem said:
A friend tells the story of an incident during a class here at school.  In one of the classrooms, they were about to start the lecture with a prayer, but when everyone turned to the corner where the icons usually are, they found bare walls: they were taken down while the room was being cleaned and/or repainted.  The priest looked everywhere for the icons, and wanted to find them before starting the prayer.  This went on for a couple of minutes, I guess.  Afterwards, an Indian friend remarked to some other friends over lunch "What's wrong with these people?!  They can't pray without icons?!"  :)
Ah, 2005.  Within a year or two, I would live this story. 
That's so silly.
 

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Nephi said:
sakura95 said:
This is intriguing, I never knew that there are branches of Islam that wasn't so Iconoclastic. All the Muslims I know said that any image of the Prophet is forbidden.
It seems to me that it's primarily Sunni Islam that's so iconoclastic. Shi'a Islam tends to be more open to it, while Sufism can be completely fine with it. That said, each of those no doubt vary among themselves based on tradition/school, considering how Islam is so diverse. The latter two groups are even varyingly okay with saint veneration.

Although modern Islam may have confessionalized more universally on the no-depicting-Muhammad thing, IDK.
I have only been exposed to Sunni Islam and not the other schools or branches of it so I wouldn't be so sure. Then again, there seems to be actual facial depictions of Mohammad in imagery based on what I found,



Perhaps the view of Imagery and depictions of Muhammad would differ depending on which different denomination of Islam.

I'm sorry if the image is too big, I don't know how to edit the size of images

Resized. In future, edit the opening
 

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Which centuries are these Islamic icons?  And which are Sunni, which are Shiite?
 

Mor Ephrem

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sakura95 said:
Well, the Assyrian Church did used Icons before at least based on what I read on the East meets East blog in which the author, proposes the possibility of Islam being a cause for the sudden disuse of Icons.
I'm not convinced that this is the reason.  The Copts have been right in the middle of Islam ever since Islam came right in the middle of the Copts, and yet they have icons, iconostases, and a "cult" of icons that would look very similar, if not identical, to what an EO is accustomed to. 

Syriac tradition in general doesn't have anything approaching this sort of "cult", even though we (at least in the West Syriac tradition) do not oppose images, have them in our churches and homes, etc.  I suspect the "lack" of icons among the Assyrians has more to do with Syriac tradition and less to do with Islam. 

I have simply one reason as to why the Assyrian Church of the East should have Icons, it is an Apostolic Church and its lack of Icons can be exploited by Protestant apologists seeking to refute Orthodoxy through using the Assyrian's lack of Icons as a support for not having or using Icons and Imagery in worship. Quotes from the Church Fathers have been manipulated and twisted by many Protestants so I don't see how this would be impossible.
Why should "an Apostolic Church" take such a defencive posture?  So now we all have to change our centuries old practices or adapt them in order to combat Protestantism?  That's nonsense.  I've seen what happens when Churches follow this advice.  It doesn't change Protestantism, it only mutates Orthodoxy.  Combat heresy with truth, not with gimmicks. 
 

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I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
 

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Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
You know.....WE....us......


not them.....
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
Well, obviously as this is primarily an Oriental Orthodox forum..... or wait, what is it?
 

Mor Ephrem

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Aquensis said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
Well, obviously as this is primarily an Oriental Orthodox forum..... or wait, what is it?
Well, forget that for the moment.  Who is "we"?  What was your intention?
 

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Nephi said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Salpy said:
This is reminding me of a story told by Mor a long time ago:

Mor Ephrem said:
A friend tells the story of an incident during a class here at school.  In one of the classrooms, they were about to start the lecture with a prayer, but when everyone turned to the corner where the icons usually are, they found bare walls: they were taken down while the room was being cleaned and/or repainted.  The priest looked everywhere for the icons, and wanted to find them before starting the prayer.  This went on for a couple of minutes, I guess.  Afterwards, an Indian friend remarked to some other friends over lunch "What's wrong with these people?!  They can't pray without icons?!"  :)
Ah, 2005.  Within a year or two, I would live this story. 
That's so silly.
Introducing the icon tattoo, so you can always pray. Turn east and twist your arm so you can look at it.

 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
Well, obviously as this is primarily an Oriental Orthodox forum..... or wait, what is it?
Well, forget that for the moment.  Who is "we"?  What was your intention?
I'm starting to remember why it took years for me to post on this forum... what is your intention with acting weird [besides being that everyone acts weird here]? We=Orthodox Christians, to be clear, the kind this forum mostly has. If it has become Pan-Orthodox, having a minor subforum for OO would make it seem otherwise.
 

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Agabus said:
Nephi said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Salpy said:
This is reminding me of a story told by Mor a long time ago:

Mor Ephrem said:
A friend tells the story of an incident during a class here at school.  In one of the classrooms, they were about to start the lecture with a prayer, but when everyone turned to the corner where the icons usually are, they found bare walls: they were taken down while the room was being cleaned and/or repainted.  The priest looked everywhere for the icons, and wanted to find them before starting the prayer.  This went on for a couple of minutes, I guess.  Afterwards, an Indian friend remarked to some other friends over lunch "What's wrong with these people?!  They can't pray without icons?!"  :)
Ah, 2005.  Within a year or two, I would live this story. 
That's so silly.
Introducing the icon tattoo, so you can always pray. Turn east and twist your arm so you can look at it.

And a canonical Trinity icon at that... I'd have all my bases covered, and wouldn't have to say sorry to God that I couldn't pray to him without  being able to see him ever again!
 

Mor Ephrem

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Aquensis said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
Well, obviously as this is primarily an Oriental Orthodox forum..... or wait, what is it?
Well, forget that for the moment.  Who is "we"?  What was your intention?
I'm starting to remember why it took years for me to post on this forum... what is your intention with acting weird [besides being that everyone acts weird here]? We=Orthodox Christians, to be clear, the kind this forum mostly has. If it has become Pan-Orthodox, having a minor subforum for OO would make it seem otherwise.
No, I'm not acting weird.  I didn't know what your religious affiliation was, so I didn't know who you were speaking for. 

I would agree with your statement above at least in terms of Eastern Orthodox tradition: the post-iconoclast icongraphic tradition and piety was quite different from what preceded it (and that is understandable).  The pre-iconoclast tradition still exists among the OO. 
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
Mor Ephrem said:
Aquensis said:
I'm not really convinced the early church saw icons the same way we do now. Just thinking of an example, the Lullingston Villa in Britain. It has obviously Christian symbols painted on the wall (the Chi-Rho with Alpha and Omega, among other things IIRC) but nothing like our icons. It can't be argued they were under duress or anything like that since they what they did have would obviously be Christian to anyone, and the whole country pretty much converted to Christianity by the period it was built in anyhow.
Who's "we"?  ;)
Well, obviously as this is primarily an Oriental Orthodox forum..... or wait, what is it?
Well, forget that for the moment.  Who is "we"?  What was your intention?
I'm starting to remember why it took years for me to post on this forum... what is your intention with acting weird [besides being that everyone acts weird here]? We=Orthodox Christians, to be clear, the kind this forum mostly has. If it has become Pan-Orthodox, having a minor subforum for OO would make it seem otherwise.
No, I'm not acting weird.  I didn't know what your religious affiliation was, so I didn't know who you were speaking for. 

I would agree with your statement above at least in terms of Eastern Orthodox tradition: the post-iconoclast icongraphic tradition and piety was quite different from what preceded it (and that is understandable).  The pre-iconoclast tradition still exists among the OO. 
Weeeell... I dont think we can call Chalcedonian veneration of Icons, post-Iconoclastic, before Iconoclasm, you had people taking icons as sponsors at baptism of children, some would go and put pieces of colour and wood fallen from icon in poterion... unhealty practices and terrible errors of course, but my point was veneration of Icons was allready strongly rooted. Iconoclasm was kind of Kulturkampf, and in order to decrease influence of Church, Emperors went against most obvious choice. Icons were visible, iconodulia strongly expressed... it was move to compromise hierarchy and monks.
 

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Ekdikos said:
Weeeell... I dont think we can call Chalcedonian veneration of Icons, post-Iconoclastic, before Iconoclasm, you had people taking icons as sponsors at baptism of children, some would go and put pieces of colour and wood fallen from icon in poterion... unhealty practices and terrible errors of course, but my point was veneration of Icons was allready strongly rooted. Iconoclasm was kind of Kulturkampf, and in order to decrease influence of Church, Emperors went against most obvious choice. Icons were visible, iconodulia strongly expressed... it was move to compromise hierarchy and monks.
Fair enough.  I was speaking in general terms, not with various excesses in mind (icons as sponsors at baptism of children" is a new one to me, I'd heard of adding icon bits to the chalice).
 
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