Matthew Root

This week’s sacred practice is ancient and venerable, but less of a specific practice than it is a way of looking at the world through the eyes of faith. This week, I returned to my prayer corner and prayed with icons.

Background

Like many artifacts of the Christian tradition — the Nicene Creed being a great example — the theological significance of icons is best understood by understanding the history of the controversy surrounding them.

While evidence from early Christian catacombs suggests that followers of Jesus have from the very beginning surrounded themselves with figurative and symbolic images about their faith, it has never been a universal practice and has often been controversial. After all, there are strong warnings about images of God throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, warnings which have rightly carried a lot of weight among Christians throughout history. So we can say that for much of the first…

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