Author Topic: Why statues are not used in the EOC?  (Read 8750 times)

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Offline Surnaturel

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Re: Why statues are not used in the EOC?
« Reply #90 on: May 22, 2013, 01:59:40 PM »
LBK, are there any writings you can point me to that clearly make these distinctions before or including the decrees of the Ecumenical Council? I can't help but think these are later justifications for the Eastern phobia of statues, and I don't mean that to come across as crass or rude. I understand the complex relationship. But if there is a solid argument before the Council that lays out these criteria for icons needing to be only about transfigured humanity, no shadows, no "temporal" relationship, etc., I want to see it. This gets awfully close to a denial of the reality of the incarnation, which is ironic given the close ties holy images supposedly have to this essential doctrine. The whole reason we can make images of God is because He came in the flesh. He was real, on an earth that casts shadows, with a full 3D experience. And one of the very first images we see is a bronze statue, made by a woman who knew full well what God in the flesh actually meant.
My thoughts exactly.

Offline theistgal

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Re: Why statues are not used in the EOC?
« Reply #91 on: May 25, 2013, 10:02:59 PM »
A telling indicator of the absence of statues as objects of Orthodox veneration can be found in the writings and pronouncements of the iconoclasts. They railed against icons, but nary a word on statues. Why? Because they simply weren't used for veneration.

So it's primarily a matter of opinion and personal preference. Because they weren't used for veneration by the Orthodox, but were used by other Christians.

My final word, as I'm leaving on a trip: there is no definitive answer to this question because that's simply not the Orthodox way, as I have come to understand it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.  ;D

You're forgetting that the iconoclasts preceded the Great Schism by several centuries. Therefore, your statement is without foundation.

I didn't forget anything, and in my opinion, my statement has as much of a foundation as your own. Thanks for the welcome back!  8)
"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Why statues are not used in the EOC?
« Reply #92 on: May 25, 2013, 10:44:59 PM »

Can you please explain why the EOC's practice of using images/icons does not violate one of the Ten Commandments :

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

"And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. (Exodus 25:18-20) "

That was ordered by God Himself. So in that case, it was permitted as an exception.
Also the Bronze serpent Moses made, was also ordered by God. So it is another exception.

We can't make images or statues for religious purposes without a specific commandment from God.

Please show me in the New Testament, a specific commandment by God that we can make and use images/statues of Jesus and the Saints.

I attended a Jewish Wedding at a local Synagog<sp?> and behold a life size painting of Moses was in the main hallway to greet me.......ahem.

Offline JoeS2

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Re: Why statues are not used in the EOC?
« Reply #93 on: May 25, 2013, 10:53:16 PM »
There are indeed Orthodox churches and monasteries that use and venerate statues to the present day:  (Video) (Blessing of outdoor statue)

One church of thousands which shows obvious latinizations doesn't constitute any real Orthodox tradition.

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow shows obvious latinizations as well: outdoor statues, westernized iconography, depiction of God the Father as white-haired old man, etc.

Yes, there are, what looks like, bronze Statues but as you stated OUTSIDE of the Cathedral in Moscow, suffice it to say that any image of the Father is improper and should not be used regardless of where it is displayed....

Offline LBK

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Re: Why statues are not used in the EOC?
« Reply #94 on: May 26, 2013, 07:09:18 AM »
I posted this earlier:

Even icons painted in a naturalistic style, with linear perspective, shadows cast by the figures and features in the composition, and modeling which reproduces volume, are, strictly speaking, deficient as objects of veneration. These speak of time, place and space as seen through earthly eyes and parameters. Yet, in heaven, there is no time as we know it; there is no night and day, but the Light that never sets, the eternal Day that never ends, where all that is earthly, mortal and corruptible has been transfigured, transformed and perfected. It is these things, and more, which the icon seeks to portray and express, something which a 3D statue is manifestly incapable of doing.

To which I will add:

Orthodox hymnography, particularly the hymns written to the Holy Trinity (troitsny, triadika) frequently refer to the Holy Trinity as the unwaning Light, Christ as the Radiance of the Father, and similar imagery. Christ was transfigured on Mt Tabor in a blaze of uncreated Light, brighter than the sun, and so bright that the three disciples who witnessed this could bear only a glimpse of it. Yet this display was only a fraction of the fullness of divine glory, as the hymns for the feast say.

Christ Himself also said to His disciples: You are the light of the world. Indeed, the words luminary, enlightener, radiant, and their variations, pepper the hymnography of saints. Saints are partakers of the Divine Light, and it is this Light which an icon portrays, the Light which comes from within, the all-encompassing Light where no shadow can be cast, and which, in an icon, culminates in the halo, usually golden, which surrounds the saint's face. A skilled iconographer can express this inner light by careful application of paint and leaf. Coupled with the flatness of the composition, the abstracted, non-naturalistic portrayal, and the deliberate use of inverse perspective which gives the opposite effect to linear perspective, a well-executed and well-composed icon is indeed capable of portraying and expressing heavenly realities.

By contrast, a statue is, by its nature, solid, opaque, volumetric, and, with its three dimensions, shadows are inevitable. It remains earthbound, of this world, not the next. A statue simply cannot portray the inner radiance of the saint as paint applied with skill to a gessoed board can. Indeed, in most non-Orthodox churches I have visited, the statues there are lit by spotlights or similar external illumination, an act which is surely the complete antithesis of the inner light which an icon easily and effortlessly expresses.
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?