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Author Topic: Statues v. Icons  (Read 7610 times) Average Rating: 0
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Leao
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« on: January 12, 2005, 09:34:32 AM »

I'm writing my thesis on iconography and I have come across the argument that the traditional analogy between East and West in regards to devotional art is not between icons and paintings, but between icons and statues. Statues in the West serve the same purpose as icons in the East. They are windows to the Divine, aid in the contemplation of the Divine, are kissed and reverenced in exactly the same way as icons etc. What are the qualifications needed for such a statement?

For example, it would be very difficult to have a statue expressing the Transfiguration with everything it consists of - the 6 figures, the Divine light, the mountain etc. Icons are surely much better at expressing Christian dogma comprehensively.

However, I'm more interested in icons & statues as aids to hesychast prayer, i.e. a way of stilling the heart and turning it back towards God. Icons are very good at this as there is an emphasis on stillness (through harmonious line and colour) and the Saints depicted are humbly turned towards Jesus in prayer, especially within the Deisis tier of an Iconostasis, encouraging the beholder of the icon to be drawn into the same poise. Statues appear to be similarly still and capture the humility of the Saint before God. This begs the question for me: Are icons any better or different than statues in their approach to expressing hesychast spirituality?

thanks for your time Leao
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2005, 12:48:22 PM »

I realise it is not quite what you are asking for, but I found this comparison by Father Michael Akzoul interesting:
Quote

Icons are more than sacred pictures. Everything about them is theological. For example, they are always flat, flat so that we who inhabit the physical world will understand that the world of the spirit where Christ, His Mother, the angels, the saints, and the departed dwell, is a world of mystery which cannot be penetrated by our five senses.
Customarily, Roman Catholicism has historically employed statues in its worship. The statues are life-like and three-dimensional. They seem to imitate the art of ancient Greece. Both arts are naturalistic. The Latins portray Christ, the Mother of God, the saints, even the angels, as if they were in a state of nature. This "naturalism" stems from the medieval idea that "grace perfects nature."
The person or persons are represented on the icon as deified. He or she is not a perfect human being, but much more: They are transfigured and glorified. They have a new and grace-filled humanity.
Important to remember is the Latin theory of grace: It is created by God for man. Orthodoxy teaches, as we recall, that grace is uncreated, and impacts all creation. It is a mysterious extension of the Divine Nature. Orthodox iconography reflects this truth, even as Roman Catholic statues reflect its idea of grace.

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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2005, 02:01:39 PM »

To me at least, I have had the experience of praying to both entities.  In my youth we had May processions to the Blessed Mother in May and we even crowned her Queen of May. But, for me, praying to a statue didnt have the meaning that praying to Icons have for me now.  Statues are three dimensional and as such take a certain amount of mystery away from whom you are praying to. Remember, this is me talking and it obviously dosnt reflect someone elses opinion.  Icons on the other hand, is two dimensional leaving the third dimension as a mystery.  We look "into" an Icon for the perspective is not on US but on the Saint who is being prayed to.  The perspective is outgoing and not incoming.  Things get bigger as one goes into an Icon.

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2005, 03:08:48 PM »

Statues in the West serve the same purpose as icons in the East. They are windows to the Divine, aid in the contemplation of the Divine, are kissed and reverenced in exactly the same way as icons etc. What are the qualifications needed for such a statement?

Well, the whole question, IMHO, is kind of fuzzzy, because the West really has no developed iconographic theology. This is because it didn't live through its own iconographic controversy, even though it does accept the teachings of the seventh ecumnenical council.

Interestingly, I don't think there is an interdiction in Orthodoxy regarding statues.

Bob
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2005, 03:50:36 PM »

I know there are some Orthodox who are strongly against the usage of statues in religious practice. I checked back as best I could over what little info I have access to on the 7th Ecumenical Council, but didn't see anything relevant.The most I remember seeing from the anti-statue perspective regarding the 7th Ecumenical Council was to basically make an argument from silence that this council didn't allow for statues... but then I haven't really looked into this, so those who hold to this view might have a dozen well-defined arguments for all I know. I'm just bringing it up so that you know that there is indeed another side to this issue, and one for which you might be able to locate some literature for if you look around hard (the only possible lead I could give would be to type something like "Michael Azkoul statues" into search engines).
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2005, 10:20:49 PM »

But, for me, praying to a statue didnt have the meaning that praying to Icons have for me now.

Well, I for one dearly hope you pray to neither!  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2005, 03:32:36 AM »

Quote
the West really has no developed iconographic theology.

Do any of these on the link count as icons?

http://www.paintedchurch.org/

just wondering....

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2005, 07:19:45 AM »

Do any of these on the link count as icons?  http://www.paintedchurch.org/
just wondering....

Aaron.

I wouldn't presume to definitively answer your question, but some of them are certainly suggestive to me of iconography.  Regardless, it is a fascinating site.  Thanks for the link.

Many years.

Neil

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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2005, 10:33:08 AM »

Well, I for one dearly hope you pray to neither! 

Dear Mor,

I would have hoped that you knew what I meant by the word "to".   We dont pray to the plank of wood making up an Icon we pray for the intercession of the saint that is represented on the Icon.

Dont you pray "to" saints?

JoeS
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2005, 02:52:52 PM »



Do any of these on the link count as icons?

http://www.paintedchurch.org/

Hey Aaron,

I think this is a wonderful site too.  I think that the West had a strong iconographic tradition where the linear aspect of the art was very important (in an art-historical sense) just like the frescoes on this wonderful site.  But it was lost, becuase there were no prescriptions there to keep it in place.  Iconography like this  throws a monkey wrench into Leao's thesis, I suppose, at least to some degree. 

As to whether they are icons in the strict sense......it would appear that they are intended as such.  The Coptic Church, if I am not mistaken (and I do not presume to have all the answers on this, so I ask our pre-Chalcedonian friends to be patient with me) also does not have the same iconographic theology, but it considers its Church art to be icons.  Interesting.

Bob

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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2005, 03:30:25 PM »

Well, I for one dearly hope you pray to neither!

Dear Mor,

I would have hoped that you knew what I meant by the word "to". We dont pray to the plank of wood making up an Icon we pray for the intercession of the saint that is represented on the Icon.

Dont you pray "to" saints?

JoeS

Sure I do.  I just thought the wording you used regarding statues and icons was somewhat awkward, and could give the wrong impression.  Smiley 
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2005, 05:28:04 PM »



Hey Aaron,

I think this is a wonderful site too. I think that the West had a strong iconographic tradition where the linear aspect of the art was very important (in an art-historical sense) just like the frescoes on this wonderful site. But it was lost, becuase there were no prescriptions there to keep it in place. Iconography like this throws a monkey wrench into Leao's thesis, I suppose, at least to some degree.

As to whether they are icons in the strict sense......it would appear that they are intended as such. The Coptic Church, if I am not mistaken (and I do not presume to have all the answers on this, so I ask our pre-Chalcedonian friends to be patient with me) also does not have the same iconographic theology, but it considers its Church art to be icons. Interesting.

Bob

I've heard that some historians now believe that the early Celtic church was actually evangelized by the East, possibly Copts, long before St. Augustine arrived in Britian.
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2005, 06:22:13 PM »



I've heard that some historians now believe that the early Celtic church was actually evangelized by the East, possibly Copts, long before St. Augustine arrived in Britian.

I seem to recall Thomas Cahill espousing this view in How the Irish Saved Civilization (a book that manages, in telling the story of how Europe survived from c. 400-1400 AD or so, to barely mention that little thing called the Byzantine Empire. Roll Eyes)
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2005, 08:55:56 PM »

I'm glad that you guys liked the link. I'd never seen any of these before, but this same topic of "Western Iconography" came up on another forum I frequent and thought I'd sharethe link to see what everyone would make of it.  Smiley

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2005, 11:54:37 AM »

To me at least, I have had the experience of praying to both entities. In my youth we had May processions to the Blessed Mother in May and we even crowned her Queen of May. But, for me, praying to a statue didnt have the meaning that praying to Icons have for me now. Statues are three dimensional and as such take a certain amount of mystery away from whom you are praying to. Remember, this is me talking and it obviously dosnt reflect someone elses opinion. Icons on the other hand, is two dimensional leaving the third dimension as a mystery. We look "into" an Icon for the perspective is not on US but on the Saint who is being prayed to. The perspective is outgoing and not incoming. Things get bigger as one goes into an Icon.

JoeS

I love both. Both works for me. Icons and Statues. Statues also helps the tactle learners like me..."have to see and touch and hold"....

I dont see any difference in doing both sense they both have the same meaning. That is just me. I am a visual and a tactle learner....both works for me.
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2005, 06:21:40 PM »

I prefer Iconography in this instance.There seems something strange about looking at a three dimetional statue. Its simjply too lifelike, IMOH. The first iconographer was St. Luke, who painted an Icon of the Theotokos, and so it has a continuous history form the Apostles of Christ. Also, they don't seem so clear cut as to the image. There are certain details that remain the same in every Icon, but the faces and backgrounds are really ...well..cartoony (sorry, dont have any other words for it Tongue). It is as if the image is supposed to be a mere representation, pointing to the person they depict so its easy to dissasocaite the paint from the actual personhood. Statues are, for my taste, TOO graphic. And I think thats why the Orthodox dont use them, because the figures are so life-like that they may lead to a person praying to the statue instead of through it, as icons are taught. But again its a matter of instruction as well. If one is told how to properly veiw these things, then they are good in their use. If not, then they are a detriment, whether it be icon or statue.

Anyway, methinks it would be harder for a raven to perch upon an icon than a statue. Grin Cheesy Wink


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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2005, 06:36:00 PM »

statues have the same purpose as icons.

it is true it is ones preference...

I get lost in icons....(I love them) but at the same time I get to feel the dimetional statue.


I love them both.  I want walls filled with them..icons...and my shelves filled with statues...well of course all in moderation...I dont want to go crazy over them, but you get the point.
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« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2005, 06:40:45 PM »

Do Western Rite Orthodox parishes use statues?

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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2005, 09:52:09 AM »

Hello everyone !

I recently redrafted my thesis entitled How can the predominantly Orthodox practice of iconography help contemporary Roman Catholics practice hesychia?

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ESSAY

I have to hand it in on February 3rd for my degree course on Visual Communications. The word limit is 8,500 words that I am well over. I need some advice on what parts are extraneous or need elaborating upon...

Many thanks - Leao

leo_earle@hotmail.com
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2005, 01:56:48 AM »

Quote
Do Western Rite Orthodox parishes use statues?

You know, I hadn't thought about this until you brought it up, good question.

But from the pictures I've seen on the web, I hadn't noticed any statues.

If anyone else knows, please do inform!

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2005, 02:21:43 PM »



You know, I hadn't thought about this until you brought it up, good question.

But from the pictures I've seen on the web, I hadn't noticed any statues.

If anyone else knows, please do inform!

In Christ,
Aaron


The Western Rite mission to which I belong has a lot of icons but no statues. Our pastor has said that we are allowed to have statues, but for now we don't have any.
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« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2005, 01:19:43 AM »

  The only statues that I've seen are the ones of Our Lady of Walsingham.  I like icons for the simple fact that you don't have to make as much room for them.  And they don't look as good as icons.
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« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2005, 11:39:32 PM »

I have noted that Catholicism uses both statues and Icons.  The one near me, a rather new church, has icons up on all the walls, and a small statue of the Virgin Mary. In fact the office of the priest has the icon of the saint of his Christian name.  The local parochial school has at least one, if not two, icons in  classrooms.. In Rome and Venice, all of the old churches ( many pre-schism) are filled with icons and statues alike.  In fact some of them have so many icons, one can see our common history....


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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2005, 05:26:23 AM »

Orthodox Byzantium does have statues of the Theotokos with child in the archeological record carved from Ivory as well as some  2 dimenisonal carvings that have rounded figures that still are part of the background.  The normal practice was and is to use icons rather than stautes however.  It is interesting that Orthodox do not seem to have problems with raised icons or Rizas that are dimensional. There are several synodal coundils that allow the Roman use of Statues but reinforce the use of Icons for the actual synod council making the decree.

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Thomas
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2005, 11:19:25 AM »

Prodromos
thanks for the helpful quote in your reply #1

Joe S. - reply #2 "things get bigger as you go into an icon"
What a lovely way to express it. It reminds me of the end to the Chronicles of Narnia - once you get to the "real" Narnia it gets bigger the further you go into it. "Further on and higher up" I think they said.

We probably all have heard icons called "windows into heaven." I also really like the expression regarding them:
"thin places."
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2005, 12:40:26 AM »

Orthodox Byzantium does have statues of the Theotokos with child in the archeological record carved from Ivory as well as some 2 dimenisonal carvings that have rounded figures that still are part of the background. The normal practice was and is to use icons rather than stautes however. It is interesting that Orthodox do not seem to have problems with raised icons or Rizas that are dimensional. There are several synodal coundils that allow the Roman use of Statues but reinforce the use of Icons for the actual synod council making the decree.

In Christ,
Thomas

Why would it be surprising for statutes of the Theotokos in the empire's capital? There were not only "Greek rite" churches but Latin ones as well within "the City" and Latins to go with them, too..
As to problems with raised depictions - that depends on more than just a strict dimensional definition. And, of course, we decry past westernizations, iconography being an example.

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« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2005, 02:28:13 AM »

Statues are not acceptable because the Great God clearly forbids the use of statues in the Temple of Solomon in the Old Testment and one of the Ten Commandments also forbids the use of statues. This is why Muslims and Jews do not have any statues. However, we know that God commanded that the Temple be decorated with paintings of angles and other decorations so the use of icons is acceptable.
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« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2005, 08:43:26 AM »

  You'll find that he also ordered them to make sculptures for the Temple and the Tabernacle.
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« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2005, 09:22:48 AM »

You'll find that he also ordered them to make sculptures for the Temple and the Tabernacle.


Yes!  Including Two Carved angels to go on either side of the Ark of Covenant.

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« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2005, 01:16:31 PM »

Those two angels were the only 3D images allowed in the Temple and they were in noway venerated. It was the contents of the Ark that was venerated. One of the first commandments is of the 10 Commandments is that God forbidds the use of statues. Orthodox Christians follow the Ten Commandments of God and all his laws because Jesus did say that He did not come to change the laws but to fulfill them. Tell me then, if God did not forbid statues then why do Muslims and Jews prohibit them? Why was there an iconoclast movement during the Roman Empire? They were using God's timeless laws as arguments. I am a Roman scientist who lives in Constantinople and coming from an ancient race that used to worship statues, I know well that no matter what your argument is, in time your prayers soon are directed to the statue itself. Also statues are an excellent abode for demons who use them against us. Through out the early christian era and Old Testament, there are numerous stories of demons abiding in statues and using them as means to ensnare whorshippers.
The usage of statues is a primitive form of whorship used by the ancients. We Orthodox have icons b/c we know that Mary the Theotokos blessed the usage of icons not statues. An icon is a mysterious window into Paradise and therefore we use them as a passage for our prayers along with incense. A statue however is like a television set vs books; in the later you expand your mind when you read a book but in the former you benefit not your mind and in some cases may even cause damage to neurons in the brain. Similarly, using an icon forces ones spirit to concentrate on Paradise, exersizing our spirits.

If you want to use icons in your worshipp that is fine. However, it does not make it right nor should you say it is okay especially since it is one of the Ten Commandments. For thousands of years God's old people, the Hebrews, worshipped Him without statues out of old. And now the new people of God, Orthodox Christians, also worshipp Him without statues now and forever.

God is Great. He is everywhere....in the air the we breath, in the other side of the universe at the same time. How erronous it is to depict this God in three-dimensional form. My spirit trembles in fear at such a daring thought.
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« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2005, 03:08:46 PM »

We put into symbols those things which we can not understand.  The Jews do not recognize Chirst as Lord, and Muslims think he is just a prophet or a really good man.  So, why then are you Christian?  Because you don't base your beliefs on other religions?
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« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2005, 08:24:13 PM »

Christ has always been the one and only God whom the Jews use to worshipp. The Son has always existed. So what has changed? Nothing! If God the Father commanded not to use any statues in one of His holy Ten Commandments then why do use them? You may do as you please since God is a democratic God who does not force you to do anything. But you cannot simply ignore His Great Laws. Christ said on earth to follow His Father's Ten Commandments; therefore if you do not follow His Father's Ten Commandments then you are no more a Christian than Muslims or Jews. If you do not like God's Laws then that is fine and do as you please. However, His Laws are clear and understandble to all, you know what the Commandments say. So what will you say to the Judge when he asks why do you disobey My Laws when you know what they are and that even the Jews and Muslims, who are not My people, follow them?

A statue is not a symbol but a three dimensional form. You cannot transform something you do not understand into three dimensional form or "symbol". If you do not understand a language are you then able to translate it into english?!!
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« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2005, 09:09:30 PM »

But our statues and icons aren't in violation of any of the commandments.
The Jewish people will tell you that Christ isn't God.  Your beliefs about the Jews and Muslims are new ones that have come about in the last few generations. 
You know, I used to be pentecostal (Assemblies of God).  I know where you're coming from on your thinking.
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« Reply #33 on: April 07, 2005, 09:52:16 PM »

2nd Commandment: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments" This Great Law prohibits the use of statues. So how does statues not violate this law when it clearly states not to make any images of anything? I know very well what Jew's think of Christ but they did worship God the right way in the Old Testament period and since Christ is God then they did worshipp Him then. My belief of Muslims and Jews is not at all new but hundreds of years old. I live in Constantinople and I am very knowledgable of Islam since it surrounds me. When the Arabs first invaded Byzantine lands, many times they conversed with Christians about theology. For instance, a captured Greek bishop was once asked by the Sultan why do christians have icons in their temples when God forbids them in the Commandments. The bishop explained how icons are not statues and that the Temple of Solomon had icons of cherubs on the walls. The Arabs agreed then and there that it is not against mosaic law to have images on walls and thus they begin to decorate the walls of their mosques! So you see these are not my beliefs but they are dialogues that have been going well before you were born.
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« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2005, 10:06:30 PM »

It seems pretty clear from the text of the commandment itself that it's a prohibition against creating images for the purpose of worshipping them.  Besides, you're forgetting the fact that God then turned around and directly commanded that images of the cherubim be made for the Ark of the Covenant.  Either God's being inconsistent with his followers or the commandment has a more specific application that you're giving it.  Icons (and statues for those in the Western tradition) don't receive any veneration in and of themselves.  Instead, the veneration shown them passes to the prototype depicted, and as their holiness comes from God, it is in the end truly God that is being shown love.  It's the same principle behind someone kissing a photo of their spouse while they're on a trip, or me kissing my cross when I put it on or take it off.  It's not the paper or silver that we're venerating, but what they represent.
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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2005, 10:19:00 PM »

It seems pretty clear from the text of the commandment itself that it's a prohibition against creating images for the purpose of worshipping them. Besides, you're forgetting the fact that God then turned around and directly commanded that images of the cherubim be made for the Ark of the Covenant. Either God's being inconsistent with his followers or the commandment has a more specific application that you're giving it. Icons (and statues for those in the Western tradition) don't receive any veneration in and of themselves. Instead, the veneration shown them passes to the prototype depicted, and as their holiness comes from God, it is in the end truly God that is being shown love. It's the same principle behind someone kissing a photo of their spouse while they're on a trip, or me kissing my cross when I put it on or take it off. It's not the paper or silver that we're venerating, but what they represent.

You said it so well!
Amen..
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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2005, 10:24:11 PM »

Yes images of Cherubs were created for the Ark but those images had no part in offering of incense and or prayers or sacrifices. Instead it was the contents of the Ark that were venerated and prayed too.In western churches statues are part of worship and are prayed to which is an act against the Second Commandment. Would you make a statue of a loved one and then kiss it? Any psychologist will tell you there is a problem there! There are not only physical differences between icons and statues but also spiritual.

As I have said before, the 2nd Commandment prohibits the use of statues. Mary the Theotokos blessed the usage of icons and not statues.  Saints and Martyrs have preached to us that statues are not to be used in churches. The Eucunimical Council of the Triumph of Orthodoxy proclaimed the usage of icons is not heresy; they did not say "and statues". If there exist any one of you who can give me one example of an Orthodox saint or of an apostle who has ever stated that statues can be used in temples then I would like to know. There have only been Holy Fathers and Mothers who have said it is heresy.
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« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2005, 10:28:33 PM »

In western churches statues are part of worship and are prayed to which is an act against the Second Commandment. Would you make a statue of a loved one and then kiss it? Any psychologist will tell you there is a problem there! There are not only physical differences between icons and statues but also spiritual.

Really?  And just what churches actually worship the statues and pray to the statues themselves?  I've had many friends who were devout RCs and would pray to the Theotokos while kneeling before her statue, in much the same fashion that we pray to the saints before their icons.  I have yet to run across anyone who would agree that they're praying to the statue itself. 
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« Reply #38 on: April 07, 2005, 10:37:55 PM »

So would have the ancient greeks told you that in reality they were'nt worshipping statues but the gods they represented. The apostles have told us that this is erronous and Apostle Paul did tell the Greeks that usage of statues is not proper. Can you give me one example of an Orthodox saint or a prophet and holy man of the old testment that said that it is acceptable to use statues in particular? Can you give one example of a Holy Father or Mother that blessed the usage of statues?
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« Reply #39 on: April 07, 2005, 10:40:24 PM »

So would have the ancient greeks told you that in reality they were'nt worshipping statues but the gods they represented. The apostles have told us that this is erronous and Apostle Paul did tell the Greeks that usage of statues is not proper. Can you give me one example of an Orthodox saint or a prophet and holy man of the old testment that said that it is acceptable to use statues in particular?

So do we all worship a piece of wood, gold leaf, and paint when we pray before an icon?
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« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2005, 10:46:15 PM »

I have asked you to give me one example of such a blessing therefore I will assume you cannot give me one since such a thing does not exist. An icon is a window into Paradise, it does not seek to give form to what it shows us. When you talk to someone who is on the otherside of the window , is it the window you are talking to or the person?
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« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2005, 10:50:31 PM »

  How about St. Tikhon?  He played a very big role in the creation of the Western Rite Vicariate.  He didn't seem to have any problems with the satues.
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« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2005, 10:58:21 PM »

I have asked you to give me one example of such a blessing therefore I will assume you cannot give me one since such a thing does not exist. An icon is a window into Paradise, it does not seek to give form to what it shows us. When you talk to someone who is on the otherside of the window , is it the window you are talking to or the person?

And if the statue serves the exact same function for our Western Rite brethren, it's still a window, although one in three dimensions rather than two.  As Landon pointed out, St. Tikhon played a prominent role in the creation of the Western Rite; I suspect that he saw Western statuary as what the Western Rite Orthodox themselves do, the functional equivalent of icons.
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« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2005, 11:03:52 PM »

Did this saint give you his blessings to use statues? If so did he explain why it is ok and why the Holy Fathers and Mothers of the Orthodox church preached against it? If he has not once given you blessing to use them as our Theotokos gave us blessings to use icons then that is not proof that it is okay to use them.
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« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2005, 11:10:45 PM »

Statues are not windows into heavan but give physical form to what they depict. In contrast, icons do not give form to what they depict because it is just painted on and is only in two dimensions. When you pray to a statue you are praying to an image that has form, that is an object. Can you make a statue into a window? Can you take glass, heat it, and then mould it into a 3D image and be a window? You would not be able to see at all clear the other side b/c the light waves would bend as they hit a surface that is not even. Therefore, your attention is on this statue itself b/c you can not see beyond it.
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« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2005, 11:42:02 PM »

Statues are not windows into heavan but give physical form to what they depict. In contrast, icons do not give form to what they depict because it is just painted on and is only in two dimensions. When you pray to a statue you are praying to an image that has form, that is an object. Can you make a statue into a window? Can you take glass, heat it, and then mould it into a 3D image and be a window? You would not be able to see at all clear the other side b/c the light waves would bend as they hit a surface that is not even. Therefore, your attention is on this statue itself b/c you can not see beyond it.
Roman, in the days of the early church all paintings were two dimensional...had been that way since the Egyptians, maybe even before... While we look at them now as 'just an image' without form... that is how all paintings were then... Catholics don't pray to a statue... they kneel, bow their head, and pray for assistance from the saint it represents.
I have been in RC churches with both statues and icons, they are both used the same way.. . there are some Christian faiths who look at icons as you are looking at statues.. And some people think kissing an icon is the epitome of image worship... but we say otherwise....they see any representation as image worship.. whether 2 or 3 dimensional... And if you look at the fans carried in church, many have 3 D icon reliefs on them... they are not 2 dimensional engravings of icons.... so , I say, let us not judge what the Catholics use to pray... unless we can see inside their hearts and spirits... which we can't...
In Xc, Kizzy

 



 

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« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2005, 12:13:05 AM »

Ancient Egyptians had frescos on walls. Although they depicted gods and goddesses on walls these were not used as form of worship. The Egyptians were clever in science and new that an image on wall was 2D and so to bring life to another lifeless scene they had incantations and spells to go along with images so that they might come alive when read. They had many statues though that they used to to worshipp b/c they believe since a statue 3D then a spirit could dwell in it. They knew logically that a spirit could not dwell in a 2D environment. I have also been in a RC church and what I see is people praying to stone. Can you honestly believe that when one has a large size statue of an entity that not even once one does not fall into the trap of actually praying to the stone itself? Try it for yourself many times...kneel before a statue...prostrate yourself b/f a religious statue. Does it truly feel as though you are not bowing before the actual statue but what it depicts?
I do not judge what RC do but only speak what the Great God has taught us and our Holy Fathers. That is itself Orthodoxy.

Also those Fans used at Orthodox Churches are not statues since they are images of six-winged angels attached to a flat surface. Inorder for an object to be 3D it must have surface area that reaches out in all 3 planes of space.
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« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2005, 12:16:06 AM »

And when people walk into an Orthodox church, what they seem to see is people praying to and kissing pictures, and strangely drawn ones at that.  If you don't know what the people are thinking and feeling when praying, at least ask them what they're doing rather than telling them what they are.
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« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2005, 12:31:37 AM »

My ancestors have worshiped statues far longer then Roman Catholics have used statues in their churches. I know what people feel when they pray to statues and how decieving it is. The devil is much more clever then you think and it so easy and simple for a demon to trick you into thinking that what you do is ok. After all he has been doing it for centuries. I have learnt from the mistakes of the ancient greeks and romans and I also do not make excuses when God's laws are clear. If you are Orthodox then you have probably heard of Holy Fathers who preached against statues. You may make exuses before me but I ask you not to make such exuses before the Lord of Hosts for your own sakes. Did not this same God become angry with the Jews for making a statue while Moses was recieving the Ten Commandments on the Montaint? The Laws are there and clear, Holy Fathers and Prophets have taught us not to use statues. What more do you wish? I have not spoken my own words but used their words and the words of our Lord although unworthy as I am. I only speak the truth and want nothing but the truth. If you can give me one example where either the Lord or His Mother or His Orthodox Saints that have given aleast once a blessing to pray and use statues for veneration then I accept as truth. However no one has been able to this and therefore I treasure what the Holy Fathers out of old have taught us. Does not the Orthodox Church tell us to do so and that otherwise you have left the path? Friends, it only takes one small step off the right path to fall into heresy and darkness.
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« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2005, 12:34:48 AM »

My ancestors have worshiped statues far longer then Roman Catholics have used statues in their churches. I know what people feel when they pray to statues and how decieving it is. The devil is much more clever then you think and it so easy and simple for a demon to trick you into thinking that what you do is ok. After all he has been doing it for centuries. I have learnt from the mistakes of the ancient greeks and romans and I also do not make excuses when God's laws are clear. If you are Orthodox then you have probably heard of Holy Fathers who preached against statues. You may make exuses before me but I ask you not to make such exuses before the Lord Hosts for your own sakes. The Laws are there and clear, Holy Fathers and Prophets have taught us not to use statues. What more do you wish? I have not spoken my own words but used their words and the words of our Lord although unworthy as I am. I only speak the truth and want nothing but the truth. If you can give me one example where either the Lord or His Mother or His Orthodox Saints that have given aleast once a blessing to pray and use statues for veneration then I accept as truth. However no one has been able to this and therefore I treasure what the Holy Fathers out of old have taught us. Does not the Orthodox Church tell us to do so and that otherwise you have left the path? Friends, it only takes one small step off the right path to fall into heresy and darkness.

Well, thank you very much for worrying about a potential speck in my eye.  Now that you've taken care of that, I'll let you take care of the plank in your own, mmkay?
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« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2005, 12:41:19 AM »

I have not judge you at all but only warned you and yet you judge me. I have only spoken what the Apostles have given to us why then do you accuse me of having a beam in my eye? Have I done wrong in speaking of the Laws of the Lord. No one has yet to give me one example of any such blessing made by  Holy Fathers and saints to show that I error in my logic. Why have you then judge me? Woe is me if I ever attempted to judge you as only God should.
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« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2005, 12:42:49 AM »

Statues are not windows into heavan but give physical form to what they depict. In contrast, icons do not give form to what they depict because it is just painted on and is only in two dimensions. When you pray to a statue you are praying to an image that has form, that is  an object. Can you make a statue into a window? Can you take glass, heat it, and then mould it into a 3D image and be a window? You would not be able to see at all clear the other side b/c the light waves would bend as they hit a surface that is not even. Therefore, your attention is on this statue itself b/c you can not see beyond it.


  Did it hurt when you pulled that out?
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« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2005, 12:47:46 AM »

It is clear to me that you do not  take me cordially which is fine. I am here for dialogue of Theological issues and not speak as children when they fight. You again mock me when you have not proven to me that I error by the words of our most Holy God and His Saints.
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« Reply #53 on: April 08, 2005, 12:53:21 AM »

  Things are only spoken about when there is a need to speak about them.  I don't know of any saints that spoke for statues, but I don't know of any that spoke against them either.  And I'm thinking statues have been around from about the begining of the church.  Others have already told you about the reliefs, but you refuse to accept it.  I think you're just looking for an argument.
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« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2005, 01:03:26 AM »

I only wish to defend a time-honoured tradition that started with the Hebrews in the Old Testment period. The early church did not have statues especially during the time of the Apostles since they forbade them. I know that archeology has found statues but you do not know how they were used. The Byzantines wore icons as common jewellry in the form of braclets, rings and necklaces. Even today there is a trend amoung the fashion elite in Athens to wear prayer beads as fashionable bracelets but that does not make it right. Constantiple had many statues, alot of them were of the Olympian Gods out in their parks and gardens but they did not pray to them. If there has been no Holy Father that you know of that has not blessed statues but only condemn them then why do you accuse me of saying that I refuse to accept something for which its usage has been condemned by the Orthodox Church?
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