2nd Council of Nicaea-Honoring Images Questions


#1

I got done reading the Second Council of Nicaea Here and I have a question regarding statues (or any other 3D art) specifically. Is the text concerning paintings and 2D Icons or statues?

Here is what the text says:…Indeed they had the effrontery to criticise the beauty pleasing to God established in the holy monuments; they were priests in name, but not in reality. They were those of whom God calls out by prophecy, Many pastors have destroyed my vine, they have defiled my portion. For they followed unholy men and trusting to their own frenzies they calumniated the holy church, which Christ our God has espoused to himself, and they failed to distinguish the holy from the profane, asserting that the icons of our Lord and of his saints were no different from the wooden images of satanic idols.
Does “icon” in this context mean statue? I would assume yes if they compared them to idols (vs pictures or something) but Im not sure.
Here is more of the text:…To summarize, we declare that we defend free from any innovations all the—written and—unwritten ecclesiastical traditions that have been entrusted to us.
One of these is the production of representational art; this is quite in harmony with the history of the spread of the gospel, as it provides confirmation that the becoming man of the Word of God was real and not just imaginary, and as it brings us a similar benefit. For, things that mutually illustrate one another undoubtedly possess one another’s message.

Given this state of affairs and stepping out as though on the royal highway, following as we are the God-spoken teaching of our holy fathers and the tradition of the catholic church — for we recognize that this tradition comes from the holy Spirit who dwells in her—we decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images, whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways, these are the images of our Lord, God and saviour, Jesus Christ, and of our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and of the revered angels and of any of the saintly holy men.

When I read this I would think that the cross would be 3D, but it goes on to talk about “paint, mosaic, other material” which sounds like wall covering not stand alone objects.

Next it says:The more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are those who see them drawn to remember and long for those who serve as models, and to pay these images the tribute of salutation and respectful veneration. Certainly this is not the full adoration {latria} in accordance with our faith, which is properly paid only to the divine nature, but it resembles that given to the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, and also to the holy books of the gospels and to other sacred cult objects. Further, people are drawn to honour these images with the offering of incense and lights, as was piously established by ancient custom. Indeed, the honour paid to an image traverses it, reaching the model, and he who venerates the image, venerates the person represented in that image.
Here it talks about a cross, books, and “cult objects” (which Im guessing means relic?) all these are 3D things. And the incense and lights (candles?) I have not seen in church in front of paintings only statues, but Im not sure.

Finally it says:Therefore all those who dare to think or teach anything different, or who follow the accursed heretics in rejecting ecclesiastical traditions, or who devise innovations, or who spurn anything entrusted to the church (whether it be the gospel or the figure of the cross or any example of representational art or any martyr’s holy relic), or who fabricate perverted and evil prejudices against cherishing any of the lawful traditions of the catholic church, or who secularize the sacred objects and saintly monasteries, we order that they be suspended if they are bishops or clerics, and excommunicated if they are monks or lay people.
Anathemas concerning holy images 1. If anyone does not confess that Christ our God can be represented in his humanity, let him be anathema.

     2. If anyone does not accept representation in art of evangelical scenes, let him be     anathema.

     3. If anyone does not salute such representations as standing for the Lord and his     saints, let him be anathema.

     4. If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be     anathema.

Im not sure, but Im inclined to think this includes statues.


#2

I’m inclined to agree. Statues, paintings, mosaics, icons, animated GIFs, etc. Any kind of representational art.


#3

As you know, in the E.O. tradition, icons are allowed, but not statues. This has to do with the prohibition against “graven” or “carved” images. If this were posted on the E.O. forum, you might get the E. O. point of view on this.


#4

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]I’m inclined to agree. Statues, paintings, mosaics, icons, animated GIFs, etc. Any kind of representational art.
[/quote]

The key word is “representational art”, I dont think that would exclude statues.

Anyone else?


#5

Funny Catholic Dude I focused on the word repestentational only. As to that I take the meaning to be clearly we are not worshipping an image, but using the representation to focus on the historical Jesus. By this I mean that it is clear that representing or depicting scenes from either the bible or early church we are learning and honoring our rich history and even the Lord himself by appreciating the display in question.


#6

I take it to mean both. I have read that before, and never thought to make the distinction.


#7

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