In the developing encounter between Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox, there has been an ironic distortion amidst the encouraging openness and charity: the dialogue has been extremely wordy. Ironic, because a distinctively Orthodox means of encounter is visual, the language of the icon. Zelensky, a Russian Orthodox lecturer at Georgetown and Gilbert, a writer with Protestant roots, offer just a few more words to unlock this silent language. Clear, didactic expositions by Zeensky on Rublev's Trinity, the Vladimir Theotokos, Theophanes the Cretan's Transfiguration, the Dormition, the Christ Pantocrator of Sinai, and of an iconostasis alternate with Gilbert's quiet, personal yet never-saccharine meditations on what being in the presence of icons means for her. This is a brief and immediately accessible book, but the reader gets the best part of the bargain: an education not just in icons, but the whole matrix of Orthodox life of which they are a part -- liturgy, lives of saints, biblical interpretation, theology, spirituality, the history of the Church.
An Eighth Day View:
Evangelicals often feel uneasy when they encounter the haunting images of Orthodox icons. From the theological to the practical, questions flood in: Why are the facial expressions so fixed? Why the colorful robes? What do the images symbolize? Do Orthodox Christians worship icons? Doesn't that make them idols?
In this useful guidebook, Elizabeth Zelensky and Lela Gilbert debunk common misconceptions about Orthodox icons and explain how they might enrich the devotional lives of non-Orthodox Christians. Each chapter opens with biblical passages and engaging anecdotes and closes with excerpts from personal journals. The authors offer a detailed look at five specific icons, discussing the importance of the incarnation, the Trinity, and Christ's transfiguration to the Orthodox faith.
This approachable and engaging guide is perfect for those seeking to deepen or refresh their devotional lives.