The Triumph of Orthodoxy, which we celebrate on the first Sunday of Lent, entails both an affirmation and a negation. It commemorates the restoration, in the year 787, of icons to Orthodox temples and homes, and at the same time it commends what the Seventh Ecumenical Council called their “veneration and honor (timitiki proskynisis)” while reserving their "real … [Read more...] about How Not To Be An Accidental Iconoclast
Iconography & Architecture
Theophany and River Gods: What Are the Strange Figures on the Theophany Icon?
Pagan antiquity, writes Fr. Stephen De Young, often portrayed a world in chaos. Ancient gods were viewed as fighting monstrous creatures of chaos, a kind of primordial being represented by natural forces — the "elemental spirits of the world" as St. Paul put it — against which the battle for order had to be won. Contrast this with the writings of the Old … [Read more...] about Theophany and River Gods: What Are the Strange Figures on the Theophany Icon?
Literature, Culture and the Western Soul
In his his splendid biography of Fr Seraphim Rose, Fr Damascene Christensen tells the story of a young monastic aspirant seeking the esoteric spirituality of Orthodox Christianity on Mt Athos. But once he finally arrives at his destination, the Abbot hands him a copy of Dickens’ novel, “David Copperfield” to read. When the young man protests in dismay that … [Read more...] about Literature, Culture and the Western Soul
How Western Urban Planning Fueled War in the Middle East
The Ottoman Empire, Roger Scruton writes, was not composed of nation-states but of creed communities. Peace between the sects could not be ensured by borders, as in Europe, but only by custom. Peace is precarious and requires constant work and architecture is part of that work. When France was given the madate to govern Syria in 1923, the character of the ancient cities of the … [Read more...] about How Western Urban Planning Fueled War in the Middle East
The Preaching of Columns
By Mary Lowell (Click on images to enlarge.) The artistic beauty of a building is not in the least a consequence of its perfect functionality. Principles of a purely artistic kind are decisive for the aesthetic value of a building. What beauty an arch can possess, or a tower in its form and color…! Dietrich von Hildebrand 1 It is common to hear people say, … [Read more...] about The Preaching of Columns