Theological and Spiritual Dimensions of Icons According to St. Theodore of Studion

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Theodore’s theology of icon, even as it represents a culmination in the field, has not received the attention it deserves. This book systematically combines historical and theological scholarship in a way that illuminates the coherence in the original texts otherwise difficult to understand by contemporary readers. With an existential engagement the study presents the theology of icon and discusses spiritual dimensions and implications in practical life.


“One of the more original and refreshing endeavors of the book relates to the manner with which Damian aims not only to place icons within their historical and theological contexts, but also to render icons essential and unique to their contribution to a spirituality of our time… important contribution to the study of icons and their role in the theology, tradition and spirituality of the Christian Church.” – Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

“Damian presents an ample historical, theological, cultural and philosophical exploration of the context in which the person, the witness and the work of St. Theodore of Studion are placed: the Christology of the 5th and 6th centuries and especially its main chapter, the hypostatic union as it was defined by the Chalcedonian dogma, in the method of Leontius of Byzantium and in the synthesis of St. John of Damascus. The remarkable contribution of Fr. Theodor Damian consists in the fact that he has made explicit the essential coherence between the Orthodox synthesis of a dispute (between iconoclasts and iconodules in the 8-9th centuries) and the present day reflection on the restoration of man through the spirituality of holiness. He has shown, for the first time, the impact and the value of an Eastern theological discourse with its specific articulations – incarnational thinking, iconic presence – for Western philosophy, ethics, literature, and art.” – Fr. Prof. Dr. Ion Bria, World Council of Churches, Geneva

“this work of Fr. Theodor Damian is much more than a scholarly contribution to the growing interest in the Orthodox icon. He seeks, above all, to present this sacred art, in all its dimensions, as the grand symbol of the Christian world-view. His exposition of Christian iconology is superceded by none. His discussion on the Incarnation as the justification for iconology, on the Bible and the icons, on the foundations of icon veneration, on the Christology and theology of the icons, their spirituality, and on the modern relevance of the icon are excellent chapters…. this book should be a part of any library, which takes religion seriously.” – Father Michael Azkoul

"This book is remarkable because it connects the efforts of Theodore of Stoudin & the artists of icons in the 9th and 10th centuries with discussions of the spiritual nature of art." - COLLECTANEA CISTERCIENSIA

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface by Fr. Prof. Dr. Ion Bria
Quo Vadis Homo?
Historical Background: The Hypostatic Union in 5th and 6th-Century Christology
Introduction to Byzantine Iconoclasm and St. Theodore of Studion’s Life
The Biblical Aspect of the Controversy
The Tradition as a Foundation for the Veneration of Icons
The Christological Character of the Theology of Icon
The Spirituality of Icon and its Relevance for Our Life Today
Conclusion; chronological Table; Bibliography’ Index

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