What is an Icon?

A Catholic view of icons… see please my Image Glossary for more info about icons.

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN FAITH AND LIFE

What is an icon? Pantocrator, St. Catherine’s – Mt. Sinai, 6th century. The two different facial expressions on either side emphasize Christ’s two natures as fully God and fully human.

What is an icon? There are approximately five million Eastern Orthodox Christians in America (Nabil, 2000). A minority in a nation dominated by Protestants and Roman Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox culture has maintained strong familial and cultural identities. Understanding something about them, being able to lay aside preconceptions and ethnocentricity to view life from the Orthodox Christian’s perspective will allow the onlooker an opportunity to increase in understanding not only of the Eastern Orthodox Christian but of human nature. It is this author’s intent to introduce the reader to an insider’s perspective of iconography in the life of an Orthodox Christian, in the hope that understanding will increase.

What Is An Icon?

A legend passed down for nearly 2000 years describes the first icon…

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