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Author Topic: Icons Demonstrating the Two Natures of Christ  (Read 668 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: July 09, 2011, 02:33:29 AM »

Are there icons demonstrating the divine and human natures in Christ? I know the Pantocrator of Sinai icon depicts Christ with one gentle eye, demonstrating his humanity, and another more fierceful eye, demonstrating his divinity. Are there other icons which display the two natures? As a Christology geek, I really admire those types of icons.
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 08:43:17 AM »

All icons of Christ should show the duality of natures, though in a subtle way. The Sinai Christ simply shows this duality in a very pronounced way, some would say overdone and distracting.
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 08:58:30 AM »

All icons of Christ should show the duality of natures, though in a subtle way. The Sinai Christ simply shows this duality in a very pronounced way, some would say overdone and distracting.

I love that particular icon. The first time I saw it, a knee injury of mine was healed (though I still have other problems with the knee, the bulk of the injury left after I looked at that icon for the first time.)
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 11:35:53 AM »

My guess is that a christology guru like you probably already knows this, but in case you dont:

A lot of the EOC icons have Jesus holding two fingers. Also, sometimes you see a hand coming from the sky holding out two fingers.
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 11:44:38 AM »

All icons of Christ should show the duality of natures, though in a subtle way.

Indeed. Even in Icons of Christ on the Cross, or the Icon of Extreme Humility which shows the entombed Christ, they don't fail to depict Him with the Cruciform Halo (which therefore often has the "I AM" in Greek inscribed).
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Severian
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 08:05:59 PM »

My guess is that a christology guru like you probably already knows this, but in case you dont:

A lot of the EOC icons have Jesus holding two fingers. Also, sometimes you see a hand coming from the sky holding out two fingers.
Oh, I am no guru, but, I love reading about christology, it's my favourite aspect of Christian theology.
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 08:12:47 PM »

Most icons show Christ wearing a red inner garment, representing divinity or royalty, and a blue outer garment, representing humanity.

IIRC the face on the Sinai icon represent mercy/judgment, not humanity/divinity.
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Severian
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 03:40:26 PM »

Now before someone asks me "wait you're OO and you are saying two natures", I just want to say that we OO have always believed that you can distinguish between the two natures in contemplation. So when I ask about icons demonstrating the divinity and humanity in Christ I am conveying none other than that very principle. Speaking of "two natures" in theoretical abstraction is very different from speaking of two natures in concrete reality. When the OO speak of "one incarnate nature", a Christological formulation which I staunchly adhere to, we mean that Christ is one concrete reality not two. Even St Dioscorus, the Anti-Chalcedonian Patriarch of Alexandria said "his two natures are not divided in all his works". For St. Dioscorus to say that "the two natures are not divided" he is already assuming that, in contemplation, Christ does in fact possess two natures.
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 04:04:18 PM »

Just a note...

The two natures of which Christ is are distinguished 'en theoria' not 'in theory'. 'En theoria' means, as St Severus explains, 'by careful contemplation'.

'In theory' can be, and has been, taken by some EO to mean that we do not believe that in reality they can be distinguished. This is not what we mean.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 04:12:51 PM »

Just a note...

The two natures of which Christ is are distinguished 'en theoria' not 'in theory'. 'En theoria' means, as St Severus explains, 'by careful contemplation'.

'In theory' can be, and has been, taken by some EO to mean that we do not believe that in reality they can be distinguished. This is not what we mean.
Sorry, in some translations I have read the phrase "en theoria" has been rendered "in theory". Thanks for correcting me, I edited my post to reflect the information you have presented.
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