Monday, April 14, 2008

Russian Icon presentation reaction

I really enjoyed the presentation, both speakers told me a lot of stuff that I didn’t know and it was really interesting. In the churches I have attended there are no pictures on the walls, maybe some stain glass, but nothing like what the Orthodox churches look like. The icons are used to help take the person to another world, to put them in a heavenly state to worship. The Russian Orthodox Church does not us 3-D icons, like statues, because they look to real. Their icons are not supposed to look realistic they are supposed appear divine, not of this world. I didn’t realize that the icons commissioned had to be made a certain way. I think they said that the icons were made out of cloth or wood and egg tempura. The icons are also used to help tell the gospel stories. If someone could not read it was a way of communicating the stories with them. This was a big help in spreading the religion early on. The speaker also mentioned the symbolism in the pieces. The robe that Jesus wore closest to his body was symbolic of his being God and the blue robe meant that he was in human form. When Mary is in her robe she wears the blue robe closest to her body and is wrapped in the color of God. This meant that she was born human but was Christ like. (I didn’t explain that very well but I hope you know what I mean!) The other symbols I was not aware of was that if the Bible is open Jesus is still a teacher and if it is closed he is the judge. I have seen several images of Jesus with a Bible since this presentation and I never would have paid attention to his Bible being open or shut before and now that is the first thing I look at. All in all very good presentation, I thought it was interesting and I learned some new things.

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