Month: July 2023


Icons: veneration of pagan images

One fundamental justification for “venerating” images as opposed to worshipping them (as if this is different) is that we are not really doing anything to the icon, but to the saint or God behind the icon. And yet, that is exactly what an ancient worshiper of Zeus would have said. Alain Besancon writes: The biblical […]


Icons: cutting out the church

In her book The Formation of Christendom, Judith Herrin writes: It was in their role as intercessors between man and God that the icons commanded particular devotion. Numerous legends of women, whose inability to conceive a child (or sometimes, more particularly, a son) was removed by prayers directed to icons, reflect an anxiety common to […]

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