EARLY CHRISTIAN ATTITUDES TOWARD IMAGES
by Fr. Steven Bigham
Paperback (June 2004)
Price: $16.95 + S&H (USD)
For all iconophiles, that is, those who accept the dogma of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, but especially the Orthodox who claim that the icon has a sacramental and mystical character, it is naturally disquieting to hear the claim that the early Christians were aniconic and iconophobic. If this claim is true, the theology and the veneration of the icon are seriously undermined. It is, therefore, natural for iconophiles to attempt to disprove the thesis according to which the early Christians had no images whatsoever (aniconic) because they believed them to be idols (iconophobic). It is equally natural for iconophiles to want to substantiate, as much as this is possible, their deep intuition that the roots of Christian iconography go back to the apostolic age. This study weakens the notion and credibility of the alleged hostility of the early Christians to non-idolatrous images, providing a more balanced evaluation of this question.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fr. Steven Bigham is an Orthodox priest in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in the Carpatho-Russian Diocese. He teaches in the program Certificat en théologie orthodoxe (Certificate in Orthodox Theology) at the Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec). He specializes in iconology (history and theology of icons). He has authored several books and articles on the subject. Fr. Steven is married and has two children.