Author Topic: Strange icons  (Read 65177 times)

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Offline mike

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Strange icons
« on: February 28, 2009, 10:49:12 AM »

You know, I caught myself doing this on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee... I was struggling to hang on to my squirmy one year old and bent to kiss the icon before I realized I had just venerated the Pharisee.  Oops.  At least Caitlin got it right.  ;)

On American sites I've found two uncommon (at least for me) icons: icon for Sunday of the Prodigal Son and icon for Sunday of Publican and Pharisee.

Is it Greek or American Orthodox tradition? Are there any more icons which don't present Saints, events/persons from the Bible, events/persons from the Tradition but some unreal things?

Are they treated (venerated) as normal icons or are they just to illustrate pararels? Why the Publican has a halo despite being not canonised and even not real?

Sorry EofK for imposing your post but it made me think.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 11:01:45 AM by mike »

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009, 02:03:19 PM »
I was wondering the other day if there is an icon of the Lord with all of the children gathered around Him.  I know it's a familiar Protestant illustration for Sunday Schools and such, but I actually think that sort of icon would be really good for the Orthodox kiddos.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 02:19:42 PM »
I was wondering the other day if there is an icon of the Lord with all of the children gathered around Him.  I know it's a familiar Protestant illustration for Sunday Schools and such, but I actually think that sort of icon would be really good for the Orthodox kiddos.



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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 05:47:54 PM »
Why do the men have halos?  Are they disciples?

Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 06:04:21 PM »
Why do the men have halos?  Are they disciples?
Yes, they're.

Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 06:01:45 PM »
But this icon presents event from the Gospel, the REAL event. Not the story Jesus told His Disciples.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 06:02:06 PM by mike »

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 06:22:58 PM »
The church at which I worship in Romania has its walls completely covered with iconography and two levels of icons are depictions of Christ's parables. So, even "fictional" personages are depicted in iconography. The icon depicting the Parable of the Good Samaritan, however, features Christ in the role of the Good Samaritan.

Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 06:25:42 PM »
Do you have any pictures?

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2009, 03:26:26 PM »
On American sites I've found two uncommon (at least for me) icons: icon for Sunday of the Prodigal Son and icon for Sunday of Publican and Pharisee.

Is it Greek or American Orthodox tradition? Are there any more icons which don't present Saints, events/persons from the Bible, events/persons from the Tradition but some unreal things?

Are they treated (venerated) as normal icons or are they just to illustrate pararels? Why the Publican has a halo despite being not canonised and even not real?

Sorry EofK for imposing your post but it made me think.

There are a number of different icons that depict parables, and references.  An example is the icon of the ladder into heaven - an image of Jacob's (the Patriarch) dream, but the icon depicts Christ at the top with the Theotokos.  Or the icon of the Burning Bush, which sometimes depicts the Theotokos in the midst of the bush with the fire in her womb.

The icon of the Publican & Pharisee has a halo on the Publican after his prayer (not before) because in Christ's words "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God." (NIV)
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
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Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2009, 03:48:13 PM »
Should they (that icons) be venerated?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 03:50:08 PM by mike »

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2009, 04:02:53 PM »
Should they (that icons) be venerated?

I suppose so; the icon is still a reflection of a heavenly reality in earthly form, pointing to an example of Christian life.
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2009, 12:01:40 PM »
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 12:02:13 PM by mike »

Offline Papist

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2009, 12:04:43 PM »
You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2009, 12:44:28 PM »
That's awful, Mike!  :(

A question that came to my mind recently was pertaining to the frequently depicted in the west image of Christ as the Good Shepherd. I don't know if I've ever seen this presented as an icon in the Orthodox Church-why is this? Also the one of Christ knocking at the door-this too I've never seen as an icon. I think both pictures are very familiar and dear to most Protestants.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Schultz

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2009, 12:50:54 PM »
That's awful, Mike!  :(

A question that came to my mind recently was pertaining to the frequently depicted in the west image of Christ as the Good Shepherd. I don't know if I've ever seen this presented as an icon in the Orthodox Church-why is this? Also the one of Christ knocking at the door-this too I've never seen as an icon. I think both pictures are very familiar and dear to most Protestants.


Do you mean an image like this as Christ as Good Shepherd?  I've seen this icon many times in Orthodox churches/suppliers and even bought one just like it for an ex-girlfriend once. 



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Offline Papist

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2009, 12:52:51 PM »
That's awful, Mike!  :(

A question that came to my mind recently was pertaining to the frequently depicted in the west image of Christ as the Good Shepherd. I don't know if I've ever seen this presented as an icon in the Orthodox Church-why is this? Also the one of Christ knocking at the door-this too I've never seen as an icon. I think both pictures are very familiar and dear to most Protestants.


Do you mean an image like this as Christ as Good Shepherd?  I've seen this icon many times in Orthodox churches/suppliers and even bought one just like it for an ex-girlfriend once. 




I have this icon.  :)
You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2009, 01:01:53 PM »
Thanks, Shultz! No, I've never, ever seen it before! Never in a church and never anywhere else! It's very nice.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 01:11:21 PM »

One year we have given this icon of the Good Shepherd to the children who were going to their First Confession.



The soccer "icon" is very sad to see.  The Theotokos and Christ Child are beautiful....however, the soccer field...pppllllease.

I cannot imagine their clergy approve of it.

This is just another example where people lose the spiritual aspect of their Faith, and use their faith as just another custom, or tradition....no spiritual thinking behind it.
Quite sad.



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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2009, 01:16:44 PM »
A question that came to my mind recently was pertaining to the frequently depicted in the west image of Christ as the Good Shepherd. I don't know if I've ever seen this presented as an icon in the Orthodox Church-why is this?

I have seen several modern Orthodox icons of the Good Shepherd. In the Roman Catacombs, there are something like 114 documented representations of the Good Shepherd, dating from the 2nd through 3rd century. There's also a very famous late antique/early Byzantine version of the Good Shepherd in Ravenna. Reproduced below:



Images of a shepherd with a lamb over his back were very popular -- and very symbolic -- in the Greco-Roman world for a number of centuries, especially in the second century. Most of the philosophical schools (among which Christianity was sometimes numbered) taught that right-living consisted of (1) piety toward God and (2) philanthropy/benevolence toward neighbors.

Piety was depicted by a man in an orans position (lifting up hands in prayer). Philanthropy by a man with a sheep over his shoulders. These twin images appear on many pagan (and Christian) sarcophagi, and were even made part of the State's iconography by particularly philosophically inclined emperors like Marcus Aurelius.
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2009, 01:23:03 PM »
That's so interesting, pensateomnia! Thanks for that information! I'm a bit surprised I've never seen this icon in any Russian church. For some reason, I don't really like the cross in the back of the icon. I still think I prefer the "protestant" pictures of Christ, holding a lamb in His arms, and a staff in one of His hands, surrounded by sheep...don't know what it is, but that image strikes me as more "natural", although I do like the one Shultz posted-just not sure about the cross in the background.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2009, 02:41:17 PM »
Oh, and lest we think this was just a Roman thing, there's also the Dura-Europos house church in Syria (the only extant house church we have), which has an image of the Good Shepherd from about 245.

But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline rwprof

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2009, 02:42:47 PM »
Mark (rwprof) passed into eternal life on Jan 7, 2010.  May his memory be eternal!

Offline scamandrius

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2009, 02:50:26 PM »
That's so interesting, pensateomnia! Thanks for that information! I'm a bit surprised I've never seen this icon in any Russian church. For some reason, I don't really like the cross in the back of the icon. I still think I prefer the "protestant" pictures of Christ, holding a lamb in His arms, and a staff in one of His hands, surrounded by sheep...don't know what it is, but that image strikes me as more "natural", although I do like the one Shultz posted-just not sure about the cross in the background.

What's wrong with the cross in the background of the good shepherd icon of Christ?  He was as a lamb lead to slaugther, was he not?  What is it that makes you apprehensive about the cross?
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2009, 03:41:48 PM »
That's so interesting, pensateomnia! Thanks for that information! I'm a bit surprised I've never seen this icon in any Russian church. For some reason, I don't really like the cross in the back of the icon. I still think I prefer the "protestant" pictures of Christ, holding a lamb in His arms, and a staff in one of His hands, surrounded by sheep...don't know what it is, but that image strikes me as more "natural", although I do like the one Shultz posted-just not sure about the cross in the background.

What's wrong with the cross in the background of the good shepherd icon of Christ?  He was as a lamb lead to slaugther, was he not?  What is it that makes you apprehensive about the cross?

I'm not used to such a highly stylized rendition of Christ the Good Shepherd, I guess. I just need to get accustomed to it. I always think of the picture of Christ walking naturally amongst a flock of sheep, with his staff in one hand, and holding a lamb in the other...
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Father H

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2009, 06:08:03 PM »
Here is a link to an article and several icons of the good shepherd:

http://www.pravmir.com/printer_604.html

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2009, 07:01:14 PM »
Thanks so much, Father, for the fascinating article! I had wondered if Orthodox icons are more apt to portray actual events than they are to portray allegories, and if for this reason, we don't have icons of say, Christ knocking at the door, etc.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline LBK

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2009, 08:02:27 PM »
The image of Christ the Good Shepherd as reproduced in Schultz's post poses a couple of problems regarding its compatibility with Orthodox theology, iconographic tradition, and doctrine. The notion of Christ as the Good Shepherd is not, in itself, a, iconographic problem, any more than that of Christ the Sower of the good seed, or Christ the Creator of the universe.

Where the image Schultz posted falls short is in showing Christ with the wounds of His crucifixion, and with a cross in the background. Unlike much non-Orthodox painting and sculpture, Orthodox iconography limits the display of Christ's wounds to icons of the Crucifiction, the Deposition from the Cross, the Lamentation, and the events in time between His Resurrection and Ascension, such as the Incredulity of Apostle Thomas; i.e. those events which confirm and proclaim the Resurrection of Christ, as fully corporeal, and not as merely some sort of "spirit". There is no iconographic tradition of painting the wounds in pre-Crucifixion icons, nor in post-Ascension icons, such as Christ in Majesty, where He is shown enthroned, surrounded by seraphim, cherubim, and other heavenly hosts. There is no need to show the wounds in such icons, as the human body of Christ, through His sacrifice and resurrection, has been perfected and sanctified.
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Offline Rosehip

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2009, 08:06:47 PM »
The wounds were something which bothered me too. While it is a beautiful icon, chronologically it seems confusing somehow.
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline Schultz

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2009, 08:44:26 PM »
The image of Christ the Good Shepherd as reproduced in Schultz's post poses a couple of problems regarding its compatibility with Orthodox theology, iconographic tradition, and doctrine. The notion of Christ as the Good Shepherd is not, in itself, a, iconographic problem, any more than that of Christ the Sower of the good seed, or Christ the Creator of the universe.

Where the image Schultz posted falls short is in showing Christ with the wounds of His crucifixion, and with a cross in the background. Unlike much non-Orthodox painting and sculpture, Orthodox iconography limits the display of Christ's wounds to icons of the Crucifiction, the Deposition from the Cross, the Lamentation, and the events in time between His Resurrection and Ascension, such as the Incredulity of Apostle Thomas; i.e. those events which confirm and proclaim the Resurrection of Christ, as fully corporeal, and not as merely some sort of "spirit". There is no iconographic tradition of painting the wounds in pre-Crucifixion icons, nor in post-Ascension icons, such as Christ in Majesty, where He is shown enthroned, surrounded by seraphim, cherubim, and other heavenly hosts. There is no need to show the wounds in such icons, as the human body of Christ, through His sacrifice and resurrection, has been perfected and sanctified.

Was not this same 'perfected and sanctified' human body the same one shown to St Thomas, complete with wounds, though?  Is not the Resurrected Christ also the Good Shepherd?  Why do you constantly look for problems when none exist?  I understand your conservatism regarding iconography, but you make it sound as if a huge rulebook dropped out of heaven in AD33 with all the rules and canons about icons in them. 

The link FatherHLL posted earlier discusses this very icon and the symbolism behind it.

I normally respect your erudition on this topic, but this time I think you are just looking for something to complain about.

Is
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 08:48:01 PM by Schultz »
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2009, 11:30:59 PM »

Offline HandmaidenofGod

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2009, 12:32:35 AM »
The soccer icon (seriously):

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/10/soccer-icon.html



Ugh, why does it not surprise me there were Ukrainians behind this? *shakes head in amazement*

Sometimes us Ukies are pretty goofy... Lord have mercy on us all!
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2009, 01:33:44 AM »
Quote
and Miss Ukraine's holy corset:

http://www.rusidea.org/picts/forum/Foto_pro_MP/miss.jpg

Do you, by chance, have an image of her wearing it? ;D

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2009, 01:40:36 AM »
Was not this same 'perfected and sanctified' human body the same one shown to St Thomas, complete with wounds, though?

Exactly!

Offline LBK

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2009, 03:31:52 AM »
My dear Schultz, you may well accuse me of conservatism in iconography, yet, I ask you to come up with any pre-18thC icon of Christ which shows the wounds of His crucifixion, other than in the examples I mentioned. Regarding the icon of Apostle Thomas, one only needs to look at the text of the Vigil to this feast to find it full of references to Christ's wounds, both literally, and in their spiritual significance in relation to Thomas' examination of them, as proof positive of his Lord's resurrection. Liturgy and iconography go hand in hand, my friend.

On the other hand, the image you posted is directly derived from non-Orthodox images of quite recent (two centuries or less) provenance.

As for the "patroness of soccer and sport" image (yet another sad addition to my schlock file) is a blasphemy and travesty. Yet, from the blog this image was drawn, we see supposed ecclesiastical approval for this image. According to the film footage on the blog: As best as I can make out the Ukrainian, it says that the icon was blessed by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop Mykolaj (Simkaylo) and a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev patriarchate). Some may regard what I have to say as arrogant, but it only goes to show that even clergy can make grave iconographic mistakes. What's the solution to this sort of problem? EDUCATION! of clergy and laity alike.

I once wrote this on another thread last year:

Iconography is the most visible and identifiable characteristic which sets apart the Orthodox Church from all others, yet, lapses continue to occur, often, it must be said, out of honest ignorance. However, be that as it may, it is imperative that distortions and assaults on the doctrinal, theological and liturgical integrity of this holy and priceless treasure are exposed and remedied. It is in this spirit that I post in the way that I do, not to lord it over people, nor to draw attention to myself (after all, I post anonymously), but to allow a greater understanding of the pitfalls of error.

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Offline LBK

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2009, 03:36:35 AM »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #35 on: October 13, 2009, 03:43:15 AM »
Iconography is the most visible and identifiable characteristic which sets apart the Orthodox Church from all others.

Then what a relief that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church isn't a part of the Orthodox Church!
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 03:43:29 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #36 on: October 13, 2009, 09:55:53 AM »

from Kolomyia-Chernivtsi Diocese of UGCC
Frankly, strange things are seen in the Ukraine


With all due respect, Father, I have to tell you I am slightly offended by your statement.

Frankly, strange things are seen in ALL countries....I can easily surf the Web and find some rather offensive things occurring in other nations such as Russia, etc....however, I wouldn't post that and make a general statement that strange things are seen in those countries.  I wouldn't want someone to mistakenly think I might be degrading their homeland.

Let's not forget how many deeply faithful, God fearing, reverent and modest people live in Ukraine who are not strange at all....or the hundreds of Saints that come from Ukrainian lands.

Additionally.....why must everyone still call Ukraine, "the" Ukraine?  Is it accidental or intentional?  I'd like to know.

I honestly, mean no disrespect and forgive me for not "turning the other cheek"...but, that cheek's already red.

Peace and respect to all, and to all nations - for all nations are equal and none is better or worse than any other.


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Offline BoredMeeting

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2009, 04:10:05 PM »
Weren't icons used to communicate Scripture to a largely illiterate public prior to the invention of the movable-type printing press?

Given that, icons of the parables would have a long history behind them (even if they are contemporary versions).

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2009, 04:43:05 PM »
Do you have any pictures?


Of the Romanian Church, or something like this?

http://www.stinnocent.net/images/GoodSamaritan.JPG
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Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2009, 05:44:33 PM »
Do you have any pictures?


Of the Romanian Church, or something like this?

http://www.stinnocent.net/images/GoodSamaritan.JPG

Of parables frescos. It depicts the one about poor Samaritan, doesn't it?

Offline mike

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2011, 04:18:28 PM »

Offline Shiny

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2011, 04:21:28 PM »
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2011, 07:02:11 PM »
That thing with the soccer ball is truly worse than anything the Romans have ever created - even clown masses.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2011, 07:29:49 PM »
That thing with the soccer ball is truly worse than anything the Romans have ever created - even clown masses.

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Offline Cognomen

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Re: Strange icons
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2011, 12:38:59 AM »
Well, it's an icon and it's strange:


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