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Author Topic: OO Icons: Childlike?  (Read 5345 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheMathematician
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« on: June 12, 2012, 01:37:59 PM »

Hey Folks

Why do all the icons from the OO's i see seem to be, childlike in nature. As in, they seem to be painted so the figures in them appear to all be children?

EDIT: just like this one, taken from Habte's post in the WR discussion
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I just finished working on a Lesson about the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and I am very interesting in contributing to this thread.  However, not at the moment, so I am posting this to find it later Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Thanks folks
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 02:01:08 PM »

Except the guy with the beard.
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 02:07:57 PM »

Hey Folks

Why do all the icons from the OO's i see seem to be, childlike in nature. As in, they seem to be painted so the figures in them appear to all be children?

EDIT: just like this one, taken from Habte's post in the WR discussion

Thanks folks

Seems to be an Eastern thing.  Hindu Icons look very much the same. While the style is distinctive, I have never thought of it as childlike (I am assuming that you mean the people look childlike and not that the paintings themselves look like they were done by children).  I think they do portray an innocence that is not present in the Greek style Icons.
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 02:08:38 PM »

Normally I wouldn't link to Wikipedia on such an issue, but it is important to recognize that they are not childlike in the sense that the Egyptians, Syrians, and others had no ability to paint more realistically. Check out the Fayoum portrait from the second century AD (first pic in the linked "Coptic Art" article). So the OO artwork is stylized that way, and for much the same reasons that EO icons look the way that they do -- to express spiritual truth, rather than fleshy material reality.
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 02:37:12 PM »

Normally I wouldn't link to Wikipedia on such an issue, but it is important to recognize that they are not childlike in the sense that the Egyptians, Syrians, and others had no ability to paint more realistically. Check out the Fayoum portrait from the second century AD (first pic in the linked "Coptic Art" article). So the OO artwork is stylized that way, and for much the same reasons that EO icons look the way that they do -- to express spiritual truth, rather than fleshy material reality.
Agreed.
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 03:26:09 PM »

the paintings themselves look like they were done by children

This is what I assumed he meant when I saw the thread title... though apparently it wasn't...
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2012, 04:02:21 PM »

the paintings themselves look like they were done by children

This is what I assumed he meant when I saw the thread title... though apparently it wasn't...

Honestly, any Ethiopian icon I've ever seen looks like a water color.  I mean no offense by this; it's just an observation.
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2012, 04:05:01 PM »

they just seem like they have softer and rounder faces I think.
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2012, 04:17:25 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Except the guy with the beard.

who, James Harden ?

the paintings themselves look like they were done by children

This is what I assumed he meant when I saw the thread title... though apparently it wasn't...

Honestly, any Ethiopian icon I've ever seen looks like a water color.  I mean no offense by this; it's just an observation.

That is the style that has been preferred for a thousand years.  It has increased in stylistic detail, but the overall style has remained the same.  Of course, the paints are constructed in the same rigorously religious methodology as are Byzantine Icons.  In regards to the childlike faces, the EO icons and even Latin religious art preserve a degree of this idea, but have a bit of stylistic variation.  The expressions on the faces of icons are meant to convey the spiritual feeling of revelation.  They are engulfed in the Holy Spirit at that moment, as hopefully we will also become as we gaze into these windows to heaven.  Their look is one which denies the passions of the body and mind, but which embraces the Grace of God in the sincere childlike innocence which Christ asks of us when He told us to enter into the Kingdom of God as little children.  For a Latin comparison of this premise, albeit in entirely different degrees, check out the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.



Her face here captures a moment of Divine revelation.  The "childlike" look of the icons in the Ethiopian tradition convey this same meaning, that is, the overwhelming power of the Grace of God.  Further, remember that human beings are instinctively programmed to love and nurture children, even if they are animals.  So when the Saints are portrayed in childlike features or innocence, we are instinctively obliged to respect and pay attention to them, just as we tend to do by second-nature in our interactions with actual children.  The Fathers are acting on our neurochemistry as much as our spirituality Smiley

Sometimes the Ethiopian icons in particular have such an expression of spiritual aloofness that I almost swear it is a look of sway or swagger out of the self-assurance of Faith.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 02:23:19 AM »

Here is an icon from my own church...

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« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 10:18:29 AM »

Here is an icon from my own church...


Ah, neo-Coptic art!  I love it when I see it overtaking the Western wanna be iconography of the Coptic Church's Western captivity (though I have to admit to Latins and people like Mardukm that neo-Coptic iconography does have a Greek/"Byzantine" tinge to it that is not present in the older icons).
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 10:21:08 AM »

The main icons in my little Church are all by the excellent iconographer Stephane Rene and I love them very much.

I would like to see the best iconographers also experiment with the more ancient styles, such as those found in the monasteries.
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2012, 05:44:25 PM »

My Favorite…


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« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2012, 05:59:19 PM »

I dont like that modern Western style at all I am afraid. It is not really Coptic or Orthodox.
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2012, 06:00:33 PM »




Her face here captures a moment of Divine revelation.

I like a lot of OO icons.

This statue, however... I would feel very uncomfortable venerating such an image. For obvious reasons.  angel
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2012, 06:46:22 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My Favorite…




I've always admired how comfortably interchangeable Ethiopians are about the ethnicity of Jesus. It seems that Ethiopian Christians, including churches and monasteries themselves, easily accept and embrace the veneration of all three ethnic conceptions of Jesus, and therein you will find European images of Jesus with blue eyes, Middle Eastern images of Jesus with brown skin and Semitic features, and black images of Jesus with darker skin and a small Ethiopian style Afro Smiley

While this variation has upset the sensibilities of some outside observers, I've always interpreted it as evidence of the overwhelmingly pious acceptance of Jesus and any representation there of.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2012, 07:23:29 PM »

there is no confusion as to what ethnicity Our Lord and his Mother are from, he is a Jew so is his mother. the Afro you see is only depicted while he was a boy, as he grows up , because he is a Nazarene his hair is long. there is no such nonesense as the black Jesus huha in Ethiopia, we revere the son of David and his Jewish ancestry as well as his global cosmic ancestry as being the Incarnate Logos who has become our kin. there is no suprise to see a Caucasian Jesus, or a Mongolian featured Jesus, or a black Jesus if one looks at the theology behind it as being that Christ is all and in All. however I can not stand to hear the stuff that circulates among certain groups today that wants to give him a different history than what was his, to give him a different ethnicity than was his historically. that type of argument steams from a sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism.
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2012, 08:16:56 PM »

A discussion about race and the Church was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,45270.new.html#top
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« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2012, 08:59:06 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

there is no confusion as to what ethnicity Our Lord and his Mother are from, he is a Jew so is his mother. the Afro you see is only depicted while he was a boy, as he grows up , because he is a Nazarene his hair is long. there is no such nonesense as the black Jesus huha in Ethiopia, we revere the son of David and his Jewish ancestry as well as his global cosmic ancestry as being the Incarnate Logos who has become our kin. there is no suprise to see a Caucasian Jesus, or a Mongolian featured Jesus, or a black Jesus if one looks at the theology behind it as being that Christ is all and in All. however I can not stand to hear the stuff that circulates among certain groups today that wants to give him a different history than what was his, to give him a different ethnicity than was his historically. that type of argument steams from a sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism.

Of course not, and of course Ethiopians assert Jesus was more like an Arab than an African, however, surely you've noticed how Ethiopian Churches and Ethiopians in their private devotion are perfectly comfortable with venerating images of Jesus in all three shades, white, black, and brown.  I've known and seen Ethiopians who personally own and venerate these more Anglo images of Jesus as comfortably as any Ethiopian icon. I saw a wonderful anecdotal video of some Rastas visiting a monastery in Lake Tana where they came across some noticeably white images of Jesus Christ in the church.  They were some printed postcard kinds of Jesus, and they were prominently tacked up near the Iconostasis of all places! This offended the visitors who asked the priests about that.  The priests replied that these were devotional gifts left behind by visitors.  When pressed as to why they were tacked up so prominently, the priest essentially said, "Its Jesus, duh."  That being said, from my experience, many other Christians get ridiculously caught up in what race images of Jesus should be, because of as you've said, "some folks are way to caught up in the sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism" (both overt and reverse).

I've never seen other churches which are so  comfortable with different ethnic images of Jesus. Many churches get very offended at different portrayals.  Some Catholics get offended at an icon without blue eyes, some Orientals get offended at the blue eyed versions, I've witnessed this ugliness personally. To me, its all good, Jesus is Jesus y'all Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2012, 09:30:54 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

there is no confusion as to what ethnicity Our Lord and his Mother are from, he is a Jew so is his mother. the Afro you see is only depicted while he was a boy, as he grows up , because he is a Nazarene his hair is long. there is no such nonesense as the black Jesus huha in Ethiopia, we revere the son of David and his Jewish ancestry as well as his global cosmic ancestry as being the Incarnate Logos who has become our kin. there is no suprise to see a Caucasian Jesus, or a Mongolian featured Jesus, or a black Jesus if one looks at the theology behind it as being that Christ is all and in All. however I can not stand to hear the stuff that circulates among certain groups today that wants to give him a different history than what was his, to give him a different ethnicity than was his historically. that type of argument steams from a sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism.

Of course not, and of course Ethiopians assert Jesus was more like an Arab than an African, however, surely you've noticed how Ethiopian Churches and Ethiopians in their private devotion are perfectly comfortable with venerating images of Jesus in all three shades, white, black, and brown.  I've known and seen Ethiopians who personally own and venerate these more Anglo images of Jesus as comfortably as any Ethiopian icon. I saw a wonderful anecdotal video of some Rastas visiting a monastery in Lake Tana where they came across some noticeably white images of Jesus Christ in the church.  They were some printed postcard kinds of Jesus, and they were prominently tacked up near the Iconostasis of all places! This offended the visitors who asked the priests about that.  The priests replied that these were devotional gifts left behind by visitors.  When pressed as to why they were tacked up so prominently, the priest essentially said, "Its Jesus, duh."  That being said, from my experience, many other Christians get ridiculously caught up in what race images of Jesus should be, because of as you've said, "some folks are way to caught up in the sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism" (both overt and reverse).

I've never seen other churches which are so  comfortable with different ethnic images of Jesus. Many churches get very offended at different portrayals.  Some Catholics get offended at an icon without blue eyes, some Orientals get offended at the blue eyed versions, I've witnessed this ugliness personally. To me, its all good, Jesus is Jesus y'all Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Just for balance: the "Byzantine" objections to depictions of the Lord with non-standard features is grounded in the strictures of canonical iconography and not any race consciousness.

The Greeks have long been enamoured of light eyes, skin and hair, yet we insist on depicting the Lord with none of these.
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« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2012, 09:31:31 PM »

The most ancient styles of iconography are also found within Eastern Orthodox churches. Especially in the Georgian and Bulgarian icons.

Georgian icon of Christ Pantokrator:


Georgian icon of the Theotokos:


Bulgarian icon of the Theotokos (one of my favorites):
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2012, 08:50:28 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

there is no confusion as to what ethnicity Our Lord and his Mother are from, he is a Jew so is his mother. the Afro you see is only depicted while he was a boy, as he grows up , because he is a Nazarene his hair is long. there is no such nonesense as the black Jesus huha in Ethiopia, we revere the son of David and his Jewish ancestry as well as his global cosmic ancestry as being the Incarnate Logos who has become our kin. there is no suprise to see a Caucasian Jesus, or a Mongolian featured Jesus, or a black Jesus if one looks at the theology behind it as being that Christ is all and in All. however I can not stand to hear the stuff that circulates among certain groups today that wants to give him a different history than what was his, to give him a different ethnicity than was his historically. that type of argument steams from a sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism.

Of course not, and of course Ethiopians assert Jesus was more like an Arab than an African, however, surely you've noticed how Ethiopian Churches and Ethiopians in their private devotion are perfectly comfortable with venerating images of Jesus in all three shades, white, black, and brown.  I've known and seen Ethiopians who personally own and venerate these more Anglo images of Jesus as comfortably as any Ethiopian icon. I saw a wonderful anecdotal video of some Rastas visiting a monastery in Lake Tana where they came across some noticeably white images of Jesus Christ in the church.  They were some printed postcard kinds of Jesus, and they were prominently tacked up near the Iconostasis of all places! This offended the visitors who asked the priests about that.  The priests replied that these were devotional gifts left behind by visitors.  When pressed as to why they were tacked up so prominently, the priest essentially said, "Its Jesus, duh."  That being said, from my experience, many other Christians get ridiculously caught up in what race images of Jesus should be, because of as you've said, "some folks are way to caught up in the sick mentality that is already corrupt by racism" (both overt and reverse).

I've never seen other churches which are so  comfortable with different ethnic images of Jesus. Many churches get very offended at different portrayals.  Some Catholics get offended at an icon without blue eyes, some Orientals get offended at the blue eyed versions, I've witnessed this ugliness personally. To me, its all good, Jesus is Jesus y'all Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Just for balance: the "Byzantine" objections to depictions of the Lord with non-standard features is grounded in the strictures of canonical iconography and not any race consciousness.

The Greeks have long been enamoured of light eyes, skin and hair, yet we insist on depicting the Lord with none of these.

as it should be! I am also of the conviction that we must stick to the simple historical truth in this matter.
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2012, 10:13:34 AM »

Her face here captures a moment of Divine revelation.

Every time I've seen this image referenced by Orthodox commentators it is used to epitomize the difference between Orthodox spirituality and that of heretics. The West lost the sense of dispassion and distrust of swaying emotions in divine revelation. This clearly expresses the kind of sentimentality which came to dominate Western Christendom in its art and hagiography, and then later with pietism.
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2012, 11:04:56 AM »

The most ancient styles of iconography are also found within Eastern Orthodox churches. Especially in the Georgian and Bulgarian icons.

Georgian icon of Christ Pantokrator:


Georgian icon of the Theotokos:


Bulgarian icon of the Theotokos (one of my favorites):


How amazing!  Roll Eyes I've just asked "Zenovia" on the other thread why there are no Georgians in such Christian forums. Believe me, I haven't seen this thread earlier. The Icons are beautiful, and the letters on them look like Ethiopic writing system.

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« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2012, 11:10:26 AM »

I think true Christians show the highest and sophisticated form of their spirituality by being innocent, meek and humble. There are not that many folks out there who are blessed with this sort of qualities. I always used to ask why many (most) protestant preachers, dressed up in a business suit, mostly sound like the arrogant professors of colleges and universities, some even look like as if they are trying to teach Jesus (Pastor Creflo-Dollar-charged-with-attacking-his-daughter) http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/06/megachurch-pastor-creflo-dollar-charged-with-attacking-his-daughter/1#.T9oI53nSiBM

Is it because the humble and innocent gift (Holy Spirit) has abandoned them? Well, how can they be humble if they even don't have respect for Saints and Holy Men.

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« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2012, 06:51:31 PM »

I dont like that modern Western style at all I am afraid. It is not really Coptic or Orthodox.
Yes, it really is awful. Some Copts have started using this western art in the iconostasis, even the monastery I visited here in the U.S. I do not at all wish to bring reproach upon said monastery as I have experienced a peace there which I had never experienced before in my life. But, it disturbs me that even those men of our Church who are closest to the Lord have, to some degree, subscribed to "western captivity".



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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2012, 07:09:05 PM »

I dont like that modern Western style at all I am afraid. It is not really Coptic or Orthodox.
Yes, it really is awful. Some Copts have started using this western art in the iconostasis, even the monastery I visited here in the U.S. I do not at all wish to bring reproach upon said monastery as I have experienced a peace there which I had never experienced before in my life. But, it disturbs me that even those men of our Church who are closest to the Lord have, to some degree, subscribed to "western captivity".

Step away from the English.
Mass transit.
Water and waste management.
The internet.
Most of your world.

Free yourself from the captivity.

Yes! You! Can!

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« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2012, 07:15:27 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



How amazing!  Roll Eyes I've just asked "Zenovia" on the other thread why there are no Georgians in such Christian forums. Believe me, I haven't seen this thread earlier. The Icons are beautiful, and the letters on them look like Ethiopic writing system.



I understand that the Georgian syllabic alphabet and the Ethiopian Fidel borrow from a mutual root language Smiley

Funny story. At my parish one day, a Georgian man stumbles in at 6am which is Morning Prayer before Liturgy.  It is just me, two priests, and a hand full of elderly ladies wrapped up in their netela.  One of our priests is white, with a big beard, he could pass for a Russian priest in a heartbeat.  So my priest comes by, brings me some readings and goes up to pray.  The Georgian man stands in the pew in front of me, bows at the right times, seems to be following along.  Then the priests turn and face the congregation for the blessing, and the Georgian man realizes all the priests but one are not Russians, they are black men.  So he looks around in a wild and puzzled look at the people who are there.  He realizes all the folks are black folks, panics, and literally runs out grabbing a prayer book on the way.  He stops in the door way and tries to read the book, realizes where he is at, and runs off.  Turns out all along he thought he was in a Georgian Church!!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2012, 07:47:58 PM »

I dont like that modern Western style at all I am afraid. It is not really Coptic or Orthodox.
Yes, it really is awful. Some Copts have started using this western art in the iconostasis, even the monastery I visited here in the U.S. I do not at all wish to bring reproach upon said monastery as I have experienced a peace there which I had never experienced before in my life. But, it disturbs me that even those men of our Church who are closest to the Lord have, to some degree, subscribed to "western captivity".

Step away from the English.
Mass transit.
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Most of your world.

Free yourself from the captivity.

Yes! You! Can!


What are you talking about? I was referring to the westernization of the Coptic Church. I was not condemning all of western culture. I thought that would be clear from the context of this thread and other threads on this website which have discussed this topic before. Unless, you are trying to joke around, in which case, you will have to forgive me as I am very bad at understanding jokes.
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2012, 07:49:54 PM »

Hahaha. That's a great story, Habte. There are certain similarities in individual symbol/letter forms of the Armenian and Ethiopian script that have prompted some people to say the same about them, too (that they're somehow related). It's not really true, though. For one thing, the Georgian and Armenian are both proper alphabets, not syllabaries (or, more properly, abugidas). More importantly, genetically they are unrelated. The Ethio-Semitic languages are, well...Semitic, while Georgian is Caucasian and Armenian is its own branch of Indo-European. (However, the Georgian and Armenian alphabets have long been considered to be directly related to one another, being the invention of St. Mesrop according to the Armenians and others...though of course the Georgians dispute this.)


Cantor Krishnich: The Georgian icons you've posted remind me more than a little bit of indigenous Mexican (and New Mexican) art. Very cool to see. Thanks for sharing.

In fact, there's probably more in common with art forms in Mesoamerica and those of the Christian Orient than one might first imagine...


Mexican painting of St. Mary

Seems much closer to the Syriac or Ethiopian than the Byzantine or the hyper-realism of the Romans.  Wink (And as is the case with the OO, not because they can't manage realism.)
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2012, 09:55:38 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Hahaha. That's a great story, Habte. There are certain similarities in individual symbol/letter forms of the Armenian and Ethiopian script that have prompted some people to say the same about them, too (that they're somehow related). It's not really true, though. For one thing, the Georgian and Armenian are both proper alphabets, not syllabaries (or, more properly, abugidas). More importantly, genetically they are unrelated. The Ethio-Semitic languages are, well...Semitic, while Georgian is Caucasian and Armenian is its own branch of Indo-European. (However, the Georgian and Armenian alphabets have long been considered to be directly related to one another, being the invention of St. Mesrop according to the Armenians and others...though of course the Georgians dispute this.)


Cantor Krishnich: The Georgian icons you've posted remind me more than a little bit of indigenous Mexican (and New Mexican) art. Very cool to see. Thanks for sharing.

In fact, there's probably more in common with art forms in Mesoamerica and those of the Christian Orient than one might first imagine...


The Fidel is not a true syllabary, it is a syllabic alphabet.  The Old Georgian (Asomtavruli) is strikingly similar in style  to the Ethiopic Fidel, in fact, it is realistically more like a syllabic alphabet than a true alphabet.  I had read about these connections in an obscure but recent Afro-Asiatic linguistic journal article.  The author was connecting the similarities in the past (around the 400-900s) when the first Georgian alphabet was evolving.  This author, and several others he quoted and which I have also read elsewhere, suggested that both the Georgian and the Ethiopic stem from a common root ancestor script which originated in the Arabian peninsula (because the Yemeni scripts are also very similar).  Another article I recall asserted that Georgian is not related to Armenian.  In regards to Afro-Asiatic languages, things are changing all the time, the historiography is in flux.  People used to say Semitic languages originated in Arabia, and were imported into Africa.  Now, it is common to say that Semitic spoken languages evolved in East Africa, migrated into Arabia where they found an alphabet and then came back into Ethiopia as a written script.  Some other  authors have suggested that the scripts adopted by Semitic speakers actually first originated in the Caucuses regions.



I definitely agree with the Latin American similarities to the Oriental art, having been a born and raised Angelino I have a cultural affinity for such, and I feel it has always helped in making me more comfortable in Ethiopian and Coptic churches and communities.  They are very similar, both culturally and artistically.  I feel at home in both Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 10:24:06 PM »

Thank you habte, for the wondeful and informative responce

(my question is now answered, please continue as you were)
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« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 10:36:18 PM »

Her face here captures a moment of Divine revelation.

Every time I've seen this image referenced by Orthodox commentators it is used to epitomize the difference between Orthodox spirituality and that of heretics. The West lost the sense of dispassion and distrust of swaying emotions in divine revelation. This clearly expresses the kind of sentimentality which came to dominate Western Christendom in its art and hagiography, and then later with pietism.

I didn't know that the Song of Songs was written by pietists.
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« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2012, 10:55:36 PM »

I dont like that modern Western style at all I am afraid. It is not really Coptic or Orthodox.

How do Orthodox feel about Chinese icons depicting Jesus and Mary? Personally, I think they are quite nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI
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« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2012, 10:58:11 PM »

The Fidel is not a true syllabary, it is a syllabic alphabet.
 

Yup. That's what an abugida is. Smiley

Quote
The Old Georgian (Asomtavruli) is strikingly similar in style  to the Ethiopic Fidel

What do you mean by "similar in style"?

Quote
in fact, it is realistically more like a syllabic alphabet than a true alphabet.
 

How so? Individual characters do not represent syllables. This would be a particularly bad way of representing Georgian, as words can contain up to six-element consonant clusters, even word-initially (Ritter 2006). So I'd like to know what you mean by this.
Quote
I had read about these connections in an obscure but recent Afro-Asiatic linguistic journal article.
 

Do you have a citation for this article? I'd like to look it up and read it myself, if possible.

Quote
The author was connecting the similarities in the past (around the 400-900s) when the first Georgian alphabet was evolving.  This author, and several others he quoted and which I have also read elsewhere, suggested that both the Georgian and the Ethiopic stem from a common root ancestor script which originated in the Arabian peninsula (because the Yemeni scripts are also very similar).
 

The Ethiopic/Ge'ez system developed from the South Arabian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Arabian_alphabet

I have never read anything that suggests that the Georgian developed from the same in any meaningful or direct way, as others have proposed regarding Georgian's relation to Armenian.

Quote
Another article I recall asserted that Georgian is not related to Armenian.  In regards to Afro-Asiatic languages, things are changing all the time, the historiography is in flux.  People used to say Semitic languages originated in Arabia, and were imported into Africa.  Now, it is common to say that Semitic spoken languages evolved in East Africa, migrated into Arabia where they found an alphabet and then came back into Ethiopia as a written script.  Some other  authors have suggested that the scripts adopted by Semitic speakers actually first originated in the Caucuses regions.

Citations, links, anything...? It is uncontroversial to assert that, as concerns the Ethiopian Semites at least, Semitic speakers moved into East Africa sometime BC (I've heard everything from first to fourth century), mixing with preexisting Cushites. This is supported linguistically by exploring the rather obvious Cushitic substratum in the Ethio-Semitic languages, as you will find discussed in even basic texts on Historical Linguistics (in Trask's introductory text, for instance). It is, I suppose, a thing that people say, but not nearly just something people used to say, as it has not been discredited.

Quote
I definitely agree with the Latin American similarities to the Oriental art, having been a born and raised Angelino I have a cultural affinity for such, and I feel it has always helped in making me more comfortable in Ethiopian and Coptic churches and communities.  They are very similar, both culturally and artistically.  I feel at home in both Smiley

Yup. I can relate to that, despite not being an Angelino in the slightest. Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2012, 12:30:34 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

about these connections in an obscure but recent Afro-Asiatic linguistic journal article.

Do you have a citation for this article? I'd like to look it up and read it myself, if possible.


Citations, links, anything...? It is uncontroversial to assert that, as concerns the Ethiopian Semites at least, Semitic speakers moved into East Africa sometime BC (I've heard everything from first to fourth century), mixing with preexisting Cushites. This is supported linguistically by exploring the rather obvious Cushitic substratum in the Ethio-Semitic languages, as you will find discussed in even basic texts on Historical Linguistics (in Trask's introductory text, for instance).

I would love to cite but my JSTOR acount is expired Sad

I have already gotten in hot water over these unbacked claims in recent times.  However, this is just an internet forum, not a published journal. If something I suggest as if in conversation provokes interest in you, you got to follow through and check it out for yourself.  I am not trying to prove this, just discuss at a casual level.  Those are not arguments I am trying to make in any kind of authoritative way, I am just talking about what I've read in the past.

In regards to Afro-Asiatic origins in the Horn rather then Arabia..  The "standard" model suggests Arabian origin, but I have read recent authors assert different, that indigenous Semitic linguistic diversity across the Horn suggests perhaps a Semitic origin point in Africa rather than Arabia.  There still very well may have been some Arabian infusion into the Horn, but Semitic culture may also predate this in Africa.  As I said, some models suggest that Semitic language originates in Africa, crosses into Arabia, and then finds and alphabet which returns with the Arabian infusion into the Horn around 1500BC-1000BC.  We know folks from Yemen and the Arabian peninsula came in, that is a fact, the new questions is were there already preexisting Semitic Africans there in the Horn.  A lot of evidence is starting to suggest yes.  Again, this is a casual conversation, I'm not trying to prove this to you.  However, if it interests you, look it up, prove me wrong Smiley

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2012, 01:16:33 AM »

I would love to cite but my JSTOR acount is expired Sad

Do you remember anything about the journal name, author name, article title, etc.? Maybe I can find it via Proquest.

Quote
I have already gotten in hot water over these unbacked claims in recent times.  However, this is just an internet forum, not a published journal.


I know. I'm just asking because I'm curious. I'm doing my dissertation work on an Afroasiatic language, so it behooves me to be up on what kind of research is going on out there in this field (which I thought I was, but you can only read so many journals, I guess).
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« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2012, 03:33:41 AM »

How do Orthodox feel about Chinese icons depicting Jesus and Mary? Personally, I think they are quite nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI

There was a thread on the subject a while back:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.0.html

The short answer is that no, such depictions are not icons. Well-executed and beautiful religious art, yes. Icons suitable for veneration, no.
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« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2012, 03:57:38 AM »

How do Orthodox feel about Chinese icons depicting Jesus and Mary? Personally, I think they are quite nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI

There was a thread on the subject a while back:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.0.html

The short answer is that no, such depictions are not icons. Well-executed and beautiful religious art, yes. Icons suitable for veneration, no.
It seems narrow-minded to demand Orientals observe the byzantine style of iconography and to reject Chinese style icons. How many Orthodox Churches are there in China today?
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« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2012, 04:12:07 AM »

How do Orthodox feel about Chinese icons depicting Jesus and Mary? Personally, I think they are quite nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI

There was a thread on the subject a while back:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.0.html

The short answer is that no, such depictions are not icons. Well-executed and beautiful religious art, yes. Icons suitable for veneration, no.
It seems narrow-minded to demand Orientals observe the byzantine style of iconography and to reject Chinese style icons. How many Orthodox Churches are there in China today?

Stanley, please read the thread I linked to. There is the crucial matter of the icon being faithful to the prototype. Neither Christ, nor His mother were Chinese. As for making icons more palatable to Chinese or other Asians, is it acceptable to Buddhists to have statues of Buddha with western features, so as to make it easier for western converts to Buddhism to relate to him? I seriously doubt if western converts to Buddhism are hindered in their acceptance of that faith because the imagery was not western.
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« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2012, 05:51:09 AM »

How do Orthodox feel about Chinese icons depicting Jesus and Mary? Personally, I think they are quite nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI

There was a thread on the subject a while back:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.0.html

The short answer is that no, such depictions are not icons. Well-executed and beautiful religious art, yes. Icons suitable for veneration, no.
It seems narrow-minded to demand Orientals observe the byzantine style of iconography and to reject Chinese style icons. How many Orthodox Churches are there in China today?

Stanley, please read the thread I linked to. There is the crucial matter of the icon being faithful to the prototype. Neither Christ, nor His mother were Chinese. As for making icons more palatable to Chinese or other Asians, is it acceptable to Buddhists to have statues of Buddha with western features, so as to make it easier for western converts to Buddhism to relate to him? I seriously doubt if western converts to Buddhism are hindered in their acceptance of that faith because the imagery was not western.
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI
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« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2012, 06:10:40 AM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
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« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2012, 10:59:09 AM »

How do Orthodox feel about Chinese icons depicting Jesus and Mary? Personally, I think they are quite nice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI

There was a thread on the subject a while back:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,17565.0.html

The short answer is that no, such depictions are not icons. Well-executed and beautiful religious art, yes. Icons suitable for veneration, no.
It seems narrow-minded to demand Orientals observe the byzantine style of iconography and to reject Chinese style icons. How many Orthodox Churches are there in China today?

Stanley, please read the thread I linked to. There is the crucial matter of the icon being faithful to the prototype. Neither Christ, nor His mother were Chinese. As for making icons more palatable to Chinese or other Asians, is it acceptable to Buddhists to have statues of Buddha with western features, so as to make it easier for western converts to Buddhism to relate to him? I seriously doubt if western converts to Buddhism are hindered in their acceptance of that faith because the imagery was not western.
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI

You are confusing style with content. No one is rejecting the Chinese art style--we are rejecting the portrayal of Christ (and the Theotokos) as Chinese, whether the art-style used is Chinese, Byzantine, Coptic, Baroque or hyper-realism.

The whole basis of the theology of icons is that God became man. And He did so not in some kind of abstract or conceptual but rather as an actual, individual human being (who happened to be a Palestinian Jew in the first century). Since He became an individual, you can draw a picture of that individual and that picture is a picture of God. But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.
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« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2012, 12:20:45 PM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
Our Divine Lord came for all men, not just the Jews. The Greek style icon is beautiful and inspiring, of course, and it has brought millions of souls to reflection on the mysteries and truths of Christianity, but it seems a bit harsh on the Chinese to deny them an artistic license in their depiction of the Holy Family.
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« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2012, 12:23:33 PM »


This Icon is used at a Coptic website; it is also present at a Greek church (jeweled in white) and I own two! As long as there is similarity to the original painting (old Icons) and if I can connect to the Icon/s, I have no problem using it to venerate…. I do not care if the Icon is from EO or Catholic church!
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« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2012, 12:31:15 PM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
Our Divine Lord came for all men, not just the Jews. The Greek style icon is beautiful and inspiring, of course, and it has brought millions of souls to reflection on the mysteries and truths of Christianity, but it seems a bit harsh on the Chinese to deny them an artistic license in their depiction of the Holy Family.

He came for all men, but He didn't come as all men. How is it 'harsh' to the Chinese to tell them the fact that he was a Middle-Eastern Jew--not Chinese, not sub-saharan African, not a blonde Scandanavian, and not a white American. What is it about the actual person of Jesus Christ that you find so objectionable?
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« Reply #46 on: June 15, 2012, 12:50:14 PM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
Our Divine Lord came for all men, not just the Jews. The Greek style icon is beautiful and inspiring, of course, and it has brought millions of souls to reflection on the mysteries and truths of Christianity, but it seems a bit harsh on the Chinese to deny them an artistic license in their depiction of the Holy Family.

He came for all men, but He didn't come as all men. How is it 'harsh' to the Chinese to tell them the fact that he was a Middle-Eastern Jew--not Chinese, not sub-saharan African, not a blonde Scandanavian, and not a white American. What is it about the actual person of Jesus Christ that you find so objectionable?

BTW, my wife is Chinese. I (and she) would object just as much, and for the same reasons, to you portraying her as a white woman as I have been to the portrayal of the Theotokos as Chinese. What you seem to be missing here is that Christ and the Theotokos are not abstractions that you can portray however you are most comfortable. They are actual people with whom we have a relationship.
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« Reply #47 on: June 15, 2012, 01:01:06 PM »

BTW, my wife is Chinese. I (and she) would object just as much, and for the same reasons, to you portraying her as a white woman as I have been to the portrayal of the Theotokos as Chinese.
Consider the icon in reply #44. It looks like Mary is depicted as white here.
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« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2012, 04:05:08 PM »

Her face here captures a moment of Divine revelation.

Every time I've seen this image referenced by Orthodox commentators it is used to epitomize the difference between Orthodox spirituality and that of heretics. The West lost the sense of dispassion and distrust of swaying emotions in divine revelation. This clearly expresses the kind of sentimentality which came to dominate Western Christendom in its art and hagiography, and then later with pietism.

I didn't know that the Song of Songs was written by pietists.

I have tasted my own medicine, and it is bitter. Like the sweet naval-nectar of the Song.
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« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2012, 05:12:30 PM »

BTW, my wife is Chinese. I (and she) would object just as much, and for the same reasons, to you portraying her as a white woman as I have been to the portrayal of the Theotokos as Chinese.
Consider the icon in reply #44. It looks like Mary is depicted as white here.

Yeah. And I think it fails as icon for the same reason the Chinese image does. It's a piece of religious art, but it's not an image (icon) of the Theotokos and Christ Child (who certainly didn't have blue eyes).
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« Reply #50 on: June 15, 2012, 06:10:51 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My Favorite…




I've always admired how comfortably interchangeable Ethiopians are about the ethnicity of Jesus. It seems that Ethiopian Christians, including churches and monasteries themselves, easily accept and embrace the veneration of all three ethnic conceptions of Jesus, and therein you will find European images of Jesus with blue eyes, Middle Eastern images of Jesus with brown skin and Semitic features, and black images of Jesus with darker skin and a small Ethiopian style Afro Smiley

While this variation has upset the sensibilities of some outside observers, I've always interpreted it as evidence of the overwhelmingly pious acceptance of Jesus and any representation there of.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's how I feel about it.
So you do accept the European images of Jesus, even though He was not European? How widespread is this acceptance? Do you also accept the Chinese images?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI
Is there anything wrong with a Chinese lady praying before such an oriental style image of Mary? Will her prayers be rejected because she is not praying before a traditional Byzantine icon?
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« Reply #51 on: June 15, 2012, 06:26:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

My Favorite…




I've always admired how comfortably interchangeable Ethiopians are about the ethnicity of Jesus. It seems that Ethiopian Christians, including churches and monasteries themselves, easily accept and embrace the veneration of all three ethnic conceptions of Jesus, and therein you will find European images of Jesus with blue eyes, Middle Eastern images of Jesus with brown skin and Semitic features, and black images of Jesus with darker skin and a small Ethiopian style Afro Smiley

While this variation has upset the sensibilities of some outside observers, I've always interpreted it as evidence of the overwhelmingly pious acceptance of Jesus and any representation there of.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
That's how I feel about it.
So you do accept the European images of Jesus, even though He was not European? How widespread is this acceptance? Do you also accept the Chinese images?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvaltRzYMTI
Is there anything wrong with a Chinese lady praying before such an oriental style image of Mary? Will her prayers be rejected because she is not praying before a traditional Byzantine icon?


Everything's gonna be ok
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« Reply #52 on: June 15, 2012, 06:27:40 PM »

Her face here captures a moment of Divine revelation.

Every time I've seen this image referenced by Orthodox commentators it is used to epitomize the difference between Orthodox spirituality and that of heretics. The West lost the sense of dispassion and distrust of swaying emotions in divine revelation. This clearly expresses the kind of sentimentality which came to dominate Western Christendom in its art and hagiography, and then later with pietism.

I didn't know that the Song of Songs was written by pietists.

I have tasted my own medicine, and it is bitter. Like the sweet naval-nectar of the Song.

Everything's gonna be ok
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« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2012, 06:35:47 PM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
Our Divine Lord came for all men, not just the Jews. The Greek style icon is beautiful and inspiring, of course, and it has brought millions of souls to reflection on the mysteries and truths of Christianity, but it seems a bit harsh on the Chinese to deny them an artistic license in their depiction of the Holy Family.

He came for all men, but He didn't come as all men. How is it 'harsh' to the Chinese to tell them the fact that he was a Middle-Eastern Jew--not Chinese, not sub-saharan African, not a blonde Scandanavian, and not a white American. What is it about the actual person of Jesus Christ that you find so objectionable?

Everyone knows that Jesus was born in Kyiv (i.e. the south-central-western subsection of Kyiv previously known as Bethlehem) and spoke Ukrainian.  If you don't believe this you are a Russian propagandist heretic...    Tongue     Wink

 
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« Reply #54 on: June 15, 2012, 08:19:06 PM »


 But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.
So does that mean that Roman Catholics and Chinese Catholics are idolaters, since they incorporate European or Chinese features in their religious images?
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« Reply #55 on: June 15, 2012, 08:29:49 PM »


 But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.
So does that mean that Roman Catholics and Chinese Catholics are idolaters, since they incorporate European or Chinese features in their religious images?

It means that religious art showing Christ, His Mother and the saints according to ahistoric personal preferences is not iconography. Religious art, yes. Iconography, no.
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« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2012, 08:55:58 PM »


 But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.
So does that mean that Roman Catholics and Chinese Catholics are idolaters, since they incorporate European or Chinese features in their religious images?

It means that religious art showing Christ, His Mother and the saints according to ahistoric personal preferences is not iconography. Religious art, yes. Iconography, no.
However, the statement implied that this moves Roman Catholics into the area of idols.
How does religious art move Roman Catholics and Chinese Catholics into the area of idols?
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« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2012, 09:14:44 PM »

Quote
But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.

An elegant and accurate summary of the gulf which divides proper iconography and much other religious art.

Here's another way of putting it, a quote from Solrunn Nes, iconographer and Roman Catholic:

Quote
The common classical heritage of Christian art is embedded in an objective tradition, one which is conventional, canonical, dogmatic, didactic, and liturgical. The antithesis of true Christian iconography in the Church is therefore that which presumes to abandon the objective for the subjective, tradition based on God’s revelation for social propaganda, dogma for mere sentiment, the canon for self-expression.

You see, Stanley, it is possible for a Roman Catholic to "get" the difference between iconography and religious art.
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« Reply #58 on: June 16, 2012, 12:23:41 AM »

Quote
But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.

An elegant and accurate summary of the gulf which divides proper iconography and much other religious art.

Here's another way of putting it, a quote from Solrunn Nes, iconographer and Roman Catholic:

Quote
The common classical heritage of Christian art is embedded in an objective tradition, one which is conventional, canonical, dogmatic, didactic, and liturgical. The antithesis of true Christian iconography in the Church is therefore that which presumes to abandon the objective for the subjective, tradition based on God’s revelation for social propaganda, dogma for mere sentiment, the canon for self-expression.

You see, Stanley, it is possible for a Roman Catholic to "get" the difference between iconography and religious art.
I don't doubt that there are Roman Catholics who agree with the Eastern Orthodox teaching on icons. However, as I mentioned before,  I don't know if it can be proven conclusively  that E. Orthodox depiction of Mary is historically correct and accurate and not somewhat embellished by subjective or cultural sentiment.
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« Reply #59 on: June 16, 2012, 01:12:16 AM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true? Is the truth of an icon of Jesus contained in its resemblance to the face of Jesus of Nazareth, or to His physical form?
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« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2012, 01:58:25 AM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true? 
Unlike some of the posters on OC.net, my opinion is no. That is one reason why I do not object to the respectful religious imagery of  the OO icons and also why I do not object to the respectful  religious depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the traditional Chinese style as indicated in the link.
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« Reply #61 on: June 16, 2012, 02:19:32 AM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true? 
Unlike some of the posters on OC.net, my opinion is no. That is one reason why I do not object to the respectful religious imagery of  the OO icons and also why I do not object to the respectful  religious depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the traditional Chinese style as indicated in the link.

I agree, for the most part.
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« Reply #62 on: June 16, 2012, 04:55:36 AM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true?  
Unlike some of the posters on OC.net, my opinion is no. That is one reason why I do not object to the respectful religious imagery of  the OO icons and also why I do not object to the respectful  religious depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the traditional Chinese style as indicated in the link.

Nicephorus Callistus was a 14th century church historian. He compiled various writings pertaining to the Mother of God, written by earlier saints and fathers. Here is a relevant passage:

"She was of average stature, or as others suggest, slightly more than average; her hair golden in appearance; her eyes bright with pupils like shiny olives; her eyebrows strong in character and moderately dark, her nose pronounced and her mouth vibrant bespeaking sweet speech; her face was neither round nor angular, but somewhat oblong; the palm of her hands and fingers were longish...

In conversation with others she preserved decorum, neither becoming silly nor agitated, and indeed especially never angry; without artifice, and direct, she was not overly concerned about herself, and far from pampering herself, she was distinctly full of humility. Regarding the clothing which she wore, she was satisfied to have natural colors, which even now is evidenced by her holy head-covering. Suffice it to say, a special grace attended all her actions."


Nicephoros Callistus borrowed his description from St Epiphanius of Cyprus, from the "Letter to Theophilus Concerning Icons."

St Epiphanius of Cyprus lived from AD 310 to 403. So we have a pretty clear description of the physical appearance of the Mother of God from very early in the Christian era, and one which has been consistently and faithfully adhered to by Orthodox iconographers to this day.

What say you, Stanley?
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« Reply #63 on: June 16, 2012, 07:24:22 AM »

Mary was blonde?!
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« Reply #64 on: June 16, 2012, 09:37:21 AM »

Mary was blonde?!

Not necessarily. A dominant feature of my mother's family is that they start off blond/blonde as babies and tots, then turn a warm light brown as children, and are darker by their teens. However, in daylight, the golden "lights" in their hair are still visible.
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« Reply #65 on: June 16, 2012, 09:44:11 AM »

That's a bit how my dad's family is. Really light blonde when young then brown or dirty blonde later.
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« Reply #66 on: June 16, 2012, 04:14:54 PM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true?  
Unlike some of the posters on OC.net, my opinion is no. That is one reason why I do not object to the respectful religious imagery of  the OO icons and also why I do not object to the respectful  religious depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the traditional Chinese style as indicated in the link.

Nicephorus Callistus was a 14th century church historian. He compiled various writings pertaining to the Mother of God, written by earlier saints and fathers. Here is a relevant passage:

"She was of average stature, or as others suggest, slightly more than average; her hair golden in appearance; her eyes bright with pupils like shiny olives; her eyebrows strong in character and moderately dark, her nose pronounced and her mouth vibrant bespeaking sweet speech; her face was neither round nor angular, but somewhat oblong; the palm of her hands and fingers were longish...

In conversation with others she preserved decorum, neither becoming silly nor agitated, and indeed especially never angry; without artifice, and direct, she was not overly concerned about herself, and far from pampering herself, she was distinctly full of humility. Regarding the clothing which she wore, she was satisfied to have natural colors, which even now is evidenced by her holy head-covering. Suffice it to say, a special grace attended all her actions."


Nicephoros Callistus borrowed his description from St Epiphanius of Cyprus, from the "Letter to Theophilus Concerning Icons."

St Epiphanius of Cyprus lived from AD 310 to 403. So we have a pretty clear description of the physical appearance of the Mother of God from very early in the Christian era, and one which has been consistently and faithfully adhered to by Orthodox iconographers to this day.

What say you, Stanley?

Thank you kindly for these interesting references. It does appear that Nicephorus Callistus has given us a detailed description of the Mother of God. That is one advantage of a board like OC.net, where we can learn and become more knowledgeable about our Christian faith and about its history.
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« Reply #67 on: June 16, 2012, 04:42:53 PM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true?  
Unlike some of the posters on OC.net, my opinion is no. That is one reason why I do not object to the respectful religious imagery of  the OO icons and also why I do not object to the respectful  religious depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the traditional Chinese style as indicated in the link.

Nicephorus Callistus was a 14th century church historian. He compiled various writings pertaining to the Mother of God, written by earlier saints and fathers. Here is a relevant passage:

"She was of average stature, or as others suggest, slightly more than average; her hair golden in appearance; her eyes bright with pupils like shiny olives; her eyebrows strong in character and moderately dark, her nose pronounced and her mouth vibrant bespeaking sweet speech; her face was neither round nor angular, but somewhat oblong; the palm of her hands and fingers were longish...

In conversation with others she preserved decorum, neither becoming silly nor agitated, and indeed especially never angry; without artifice, and direct, she was not overly concerned about herself, and far from pampering herself, she was distinctly full of humility. Regarding the clothing which she wore, she was satisfied to have natural colors, which even now is evidenced by her holy head-covering. Suffice it to say, a special grace attended all her actions."


Nicephoros Callistus borrowed his description from St Epiphanius of Cyprus, from the "Letter to Theophilus Concerning Icons."

St Epiphanius of Cyprus lived from AD 310 to 403. So we have a pretty clear description of the physical appearance of the Mother of God from very early in the Christian era, and one which has been consistently and faithfully adhered to by Orthodox iconographers to this day.

What say you, Stanley?

Thank you kindly for these interesting references. It does appear that Nicephorus Callistus has given us a detailed description of the Mother of God. That is one advantage of a board like OC.net, where we can learn and become more knowledgeable about our Christian faith and about its history.

Tell me this is irony, Stanley . . .

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« Reply #68 on: June 16, 2012, 04:57:08 PM »

I think the Theotokos of Jerusalem is the best icon of the Theotokos, especially in terms of actual appearance.



Heres the story if you dont already know it: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panagia_Ierosolymitissa
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« Reply #69 on: June 16, 2012, 04:58:48 PM »

Is historical accuracy what makes an icon true?  
Unlike some of the posters on OC.net, my opinion is no. That is one reason why I do not object to the respectful religious imagery of  the OO icons and also why I do not object to the respectful  religious depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the traditional Chinese style as indicated in the link.

Nicephorus Callistus was a 14th century church historian. He compiled various writings pertaining to the Mother of God, written by earlier saints and fathers. Here is a relevant passage:

"She was of average stature, or as others suggest, slightly more than average; her hair golden in appearance; her eyes bright with pupils like shiny olives; her eyebrows strong in character and moderately dark, her nose pronounced and her mouth vibrant bespeaking sweet speech; her face was neither round nor angular, but somewhat oblong; the palm of her hands and fingers were longish...

In conversation with others she preserved decorum, neither becoming silly nor agitated, and indeed especially never angry; without artifice, and direct, she was not overly concerned about herself, and far from pampering herself, she was distinctly full of humility. Regarding the clothing which she wore, she was satisfied to have natural colors, which even now is evidenced by her holy head-covering. Suffice it to say, a special grace attended all her actions."


Nicephoros Callistus borrowed his description from St Epiphanius of Cyprus, from the "Letter to Theophilus Concerning Icons."

St Epiphanius of Cyprus lived from AD 310 to 403. So we have a pretty clear description of the physical appearance of the Mother of God from very early in the Christian era, and one which has been consistently and faithfully adhered to by Orthodox iconographers to this day.

What say you, Stanley?

Thank you kindly for these interesting references. It does appear that Nicephorus Callistus has given us a detailed description of the Mother of God. That is one advantage of a board like OC.net, where we can learn and become more knowledgeable about our Christian faith and about its history.

Tell me this is irony, Stanley . . .


No.
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« Reply #70 on: June 16, 2012, 05:09:55 PM »

Why isn't Our Lady's hair ever depicted in icons? I want to see that pretty golden blond.

Also, why do you capital the "Our" in "Our Lady" or "Our Lord"?
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« Reply #71 on: June 16, 2012, 06:51:23 PM »

Why isn't Our Lady's hair ever depicted in icons? I want to see that pretty golden blond.

Also, why do you capital the "Our" in "Our Lady" or "Our Lord"?

William, first of all, I HIGHLY doubt that the Theotokos had blond hair. In Middle Eastern cultures, religious women dont show their hair in public and headcoverings are/were prevalent in society. Orthodox Jews dont show their hair to any man except their husbands and they cover their hair in public. Many Orthodox Christian women pray with headcoverings. The Theotokos is depicted wearing a veil because of religious reasons, cultural reasons, & modesty.

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« Reply #72 on: June 16, 2012, 07:08:25 PM »

Why isn't Our Lady's hair ever depicted in icons? I want to see that pretty golden blond.

The Mother of God was dedicated to God from the age of three when her parents took her to the Temple, where she stayed until her teens, and where she was formed and instructed in the things of God. For the rest of her days, she lived a quiet, modest, humble, contemplative, Godly life, giving herself completely to the service of God. She lived before monasticism came into the Church, but she is rightly seen as the model and standard to follow. To this day, nuns, including those in traditional non-Orthodox orders, conceal their hair as part of their monastic appearance.
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« Reply #73 on: June 16, 2012, 07:26:08 PM »

Why isn't Our Lady's hair ever depicted in icons? I want to see that pretty golden blond.

Also, why do you capital the "Our" in "Our Lady" or "Our Lord"?

Pure selfishness.  She is not your Lady but Our Lady (next phase:  "OUR Lady")
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« Reply #74 on: June 16, 2012, 07:27:21 PM »

I think the Theotokos of Jerusalem is the best icon of the Theotokos, especially in terms of actual appearance.



Heres the story if you dont already know it: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Panagia_Ierosolymitissa

Have you consulted your Bishop about this Pan-Orthodoxy thing, especially since you are "Eastern Orthodox"?
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« Reply #75 on: June 16, 2012, 07:28:54 PM »

Mary was blonde?!

She was clearly Scandenavian when her parents immigrated to the Holy Land at age 5
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« Reply #76 on: June 19, 2012, 06:18:23 AM »

I prefer Our Lady of Chatham..

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« Reply #77 on: June 19, 2012, 06:17:09 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


 But if you move away from even attempting to portray that actual individual and instead portray Christ/God according to your personal preferences without regard to the actual historical fact of the Incarnation, then you are moving away from iconography and into the area of idols--where we portray God as *we* would like to see him, not as He as actually was/is.
So does that mean that Roman Catholics and Chinese Catholics are idolaters, since they incorporate European or Chinese features in their religious images?

It means that religious art showing Christ, His Mother and the saints according to ahistoric personal preferences is not iconography. Religious art, yes. Iconography, no.

In the strictest of senses, yes, but then again no.  After all, the term eikon simply means "image" and any "image" be it literal or figurative will do.  Etymology:  eikon = rooted from the word eiko which simply means "to be like" Not only are the portrayed images of Christ then all eikons in at least the most literal of senses, but also written or verbal accounts such as the Scriptures or the writings of the Fathers.  Further, every single human being is an "eikon" of God having been made in His Image, which is precisely why Christ asks us to love each other as ourselves, and that the least we do to each other we do directly to Him.  

Anything which reflects the appearance of Christ is an image of Christ, and any image is in the most literal sense of the term, an eikon.  True,  only certain images should be consecrated for Liturgical worship within Church services, however in a spiritual sense, Christ is revealed dynamically by any representation of Him in private use.  We shouldn't put heterodox images in the Church, granted, however, we should also understand that people experience Jesus Christ in many different ways and means. Then again, at least in Ethiopian history, we don't  have a strong an issue of iconoclasm to deal with as the Eastern Orthodox, so I can understand y'all's more strict interpretations to appease those rowdy Iconoclasts from Byzantium Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #78 on: June 19, 2012, 06:51:49 PM »

Have you consulted your Bishop about this Pan-Orthodoxy thing, especially since you are "Eastern Orthodox"?


When I say "Pan-Orthodox", I mean that I like several aspects of the many different Orthodox jurisdictions. I LOVE Byzantine Chant but I also love churches that dont have pews, that have veiled women, use the old calendar, and I was very attracted to Russian spiritual literature/texts. I was converted into Orthodoxy under the OCA jurisdiction a few months ago and offically I am under OCA and my current home parish is OCA but I attend a variety of different church jurisdictions. As long as Im not a clergyman, I dont see why its a problem to refer to myself as Pan-Orthodox...do you have a better name for it?
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« Reply #79 on: June 20, 2012, 02:51:36 AM »

We should all be pan-Orthodox. Nationalism and ethnocentrism are harmful to the proper development of the Church in the West.
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« Reply #80 on: June 20, 2012, 02:59:41 AM »

Mary was blonde?!

She was clearly Scandenavian when her parents immigrated to the Holy Land at age 5

How dare you deny that her parents were from Kyiv?
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« Reply #81 on: June 20, 2012, 03:48:13 AM »

Mary was blonde?!

She was clearly Scandenavian when her parents immigrated to the Holy Land at age 5

How dare you deny that her parents were from Kyiv?

 laugh laugh laugh Everybody knows they were Athenians.
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« Reply #82 on: June 20, 2012, 06:01:27 PM »

Have you consulted your Bishop about this Pan-Orthodoxy thing, especially since you are "Eastern Orthodox"?


When I say "Pan-Orthodox", I mean that I like several aspects of the many different Orthodox jurisdictions. I LOVE Byzantine Chant but I also love churches that dont have pews, that have veiled women, use the old calendar, and I was very attracted to Russian spiritual literature/texts. I was converted into Orthodoxy under the OCA jurisdiction a few months ago and offically I am under OCA and my current home parish is OCA but I attend a variety of different church jurisdictions. As long as Im not a clergyman, I dont see why its a problem to refer to myself as Pan-Orthodox...do you have a better name for it?

How can you be pan-Orthodox and "Eastern Orthodox" at the same time?  Is all of Orthodoxy "Eastern"?  Is this what the Church teaches?
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« Reply #83 on: June 20, 2012, 06:03:48 PM »

We should all be pan-Orthodox. Nationalism and ethnocentrism are harmful to the proper development of the Church in the West.

Ah, can there be any such thing as a Coptic Church in Britain?  Is the Church in Britain "Oriental"?  Is this identification not harmful to the Church in the West? 
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« Reply #84 on: June 20, 2012, 06:05:13 PM »

Mary was blonde?!

She was clearly Scandenavian when her parents immigrated to the Holy Land at age 5

How dare you deny that her parents were from Kyiv?

Good point.  I forgot to mention that after emigration from Scandenavia they resided in Kyiv where she was baptized before they immigrated to the Holy Land. 
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« Reply #85 on: June 20, 2012, 06:09:15 PM »

Mary was blonde?!

She was clearly Scandenavian when her parents immigrated to the Holy Land at age 5

How dare you deny that her parents were from Kyiv?

 laugh laugh laugh Everybody knows they were Athenians.

They lived in exile in Athens for a time during the Holy Land time of troubles, but were clearly "practicing Ukrainian Orthodox" during their stay in Athens. 
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« Reply #86 on: June 20, 2012, 06:10:20 PM »

Sorry, forgot to add emoticons for those 5-10 years from now who don't know that this is well...   laugh    Roll Eyes
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« Reply #87 on: June 20, 2012, 09:26:27 PM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
Our Divine Lord came for all men, not just the Jews. The Greek style icon is beautiful and inspiring, of course, and it has brought millions of souls to reflection on the mysteries and truths of Christianity, but it seems a bit harsh on the Chinese to deny them an artistic license in their depiction of the Holy Family.

He came for all men, but He didn't come as all men. How is it 'harsh' to the Chinese to tell them the fact that he was a Middle-Eastern Jew--not Chinese, not sub-saharan African, not a blonde Scandanavian, and not a white American. What is it about the actual person of Jesus Christ that you find so objectionable?

Everyone knows that Jesus was born in Kyiv (i.e. the south-central-western subsection of Kyiv previously known as Bethlehem) and spoke Ukrainian.  If you don't believe this you are a Russian propagandist heretic...    Tongue     Wink

 

Yes Father, but my UGCC friends say it was really a suburb of L'viv!  Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: June 20, 2012, 09:33:17 PM »

Good point.  I forgot to mention that after emigration from Scandenavia they resided in Kyiv where she was baptized before they immigrated to the Holy Land. 

The priest who baptised her was under the EP though.
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« Reply #89 on: June 21, 2012, 12:54:54 AM »

The main icons in my little Church are all by the excellent iconographer Stephane Rene and I love them very much.

I would like to see the best iconographers also experiment with the more ancient styles, such as those found in the monasteries.

What kind of the more ancient style is?
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« Reply #90 on: June 21, 2012, 02:59:34 AM »

This is from the 12th century..

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« Reply #91 on: June 21, 2012, 03:01:55 AM »

We should all be pan-Orthodox. Nationalism and ethnocentrism are harmful to the proper development of the Church in the West.

Ah, can there be any such thing as a Coptic Church in Britain?  Is the Church in Britain "Oriental"?  Is this identification not harmful to the Church in the West? 

Eventually there should only be an Orthodox Church in/of Britain made up of all those who are Orthodox and are in Britain. It would draw from a wide range of cultural influences.
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« Reply #92 on: June 21, 2012, 03:30:00 AM »

We should all be pan-Orthodox. Nationalism and ethnocentrism are harmful to the proper development of the Church in the West.
I agree completely. I know exactly what you mean as I have seen and experienced it firsthand here in the U.S.
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« Reply #93 on: June 21, 2012, 03:34:46 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Eventually there should only be an Orthodox Church in/of Britain made up of all those who are Orthodox and are in Britain. It would draw from a wide range of cultural influences.

Father, isn't that essentially what the British Orthodox Church is, albeit under the jurisdictional supervision of Alexandria? Granted, other Brits and folks attend their various jurisdictional parishes, but in premise, isn't the BOC supposed to function like the OCA, as a British diocese so to speak?

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« Reply #94 on: June 21, 2012, 03:40:21 PM »

The BOC is supposed to be a diocese especially working with non-Egyptians, but this can only be temporary (maybe hundreds of years temporary!).

There should be one Synod in the UK, the Coptic bishops should have fixed dioceses, and the other single bishop Churches should temporarily cover the whole country as the BOC does and as they presently do. This single Synod should work hard to establish a real sense of being one Church, among both clergy and laity, so that in due course the one Synod is able to establish a multi-cultural Church in the UK with one bishop in one area, and different ethnic backgrounds represented in each congregation, with varying balances and proportions.

A single Synod would be a start. I don't know how long the rest might take.
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« Reply #95 on: June 21, 2012, 04:10:42 PM »

Quote
It seems like you are engaging in a form of selective cultural iconoclasm by rejecting Chinese art form and style for icons and demanding that Chinese adopt the Greek style of art to portray Christ and the Mother of God.

I'll ask that simple question again, Stanley: Was Jesus Christ or His mother Chinese?
Our Divine Lord came for all men, not just the Jews. The Greek style icon is beautiful and inspiring, of course, and it has brought millions of souls to reflection on the mysteries and truths of Christianity, but it seems a bit harsh on the Chinese to deny them an artistic license in their depiction of the Holy Family.

He came for all men, but He didn't come as all men. How is it 'harsh' to the Chinese to tell them the fact that he was a Middle-Eastern Jew--not Chinese, not sub-saharan African, not a blonde Scandanavian, and not a white American. What is it about the actual person of Jesus Christ that you find so objectionable?

Everyone knows that Jesus was born in Kyiv (i.e. the south-central-western subsection of Kyiv previously known as Bethlehem) and spoke Ukrainian.  If you don't believe this you are a Russian propagandist heretic...    Tongue     Wink

 

Yes Father, but my UGCC friends say it was really a suburb of L'viv!  Smiley

Of course, because, according to their claims, the original texts were interpolated and L'viv changed to Kyiv, as evidenced from the erase marks.   Of course, their supposed "older texts" are also suspect, as "L'viv" is in Cyrillic and the rest of the text in Glagolithic   laugh
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« Reply #96 on: June 21, 2012, 04:15:02 PM »

Good point.  I forgot to mention that after emigration from Scandenavia they resided in Kyiv where she was baptized before they immigrated to the Holy Land. 

The priest who baptised her was under the EP though.

Some claim he was Kyiv Patriarchate, but I think that the fact that his last name was Honcharenko proves he was EP. 
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« Reply #97 on: June 25, 2012, 04:47:10 PM »

Does that mean the priest was new calendar!?

Life has lost all meaning...
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« Reply #98 on: June 25, 2012, 06:26:19 PM »

OO Icons are turrible.

<-- Only I have the real authentic image of what Christ looks like.
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