Thursday, April 3, 2008

Guest Speaker Lecture on presence of Icons in Medieval history

On topic of guest speaker I was amazed at the vast knowledge that historian John Tuttle has. I found the story about King Rus Vladimir very interesting. The way he told us of Rus back ground and how not only was he a Scandinavian he was also a Viking. It was interesting how the Russian people acquired their religion. The Russian people not only did their research on the different religions. They sent out citizens on a sort pilgrimage to find out which religion would be best suited for their people. The way that the Russian people reported of the heavenly Orthodox Church was amazing. They described the experience of their visit as if they didn’t know if this was heaven or heaven on earth. The Russians were obviously inspired by the Greeks upon their visit to explore religion. They of course had their own sort of flair on the churches that they made when returning to Russia. The Icons that cover the walls from floor to the highest dome is beautiful. The religious icons that surround the viewer seem to enforce the feeling of a spiritual place. Theologically the feeling is described as being in a universal place in a universal time and, that you where surrounded by angels and saints. Another interesting point that the priest brought up was the significance in Christianity of the Halo. The way he explained how the uncreated light showed the presence of Christ.

The icons that encompass the walls of the churches and the lighting that they chose (skylights) definitely add a great sense of dramatic effect to the experience of the viewer. The icons are a way for the viewer to feel a personal connection with Christ and other religious icons.

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