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The Second Iconoclast Controversy and Eastern Theology

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2004, 19(), pp.93-117
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology

San Choon Kim 1

1서강대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Most modern Byzantine scholars have evaluated the second iconoclast controversy negatively. They said that the second iconoclast controversy had no new idea and was exhausted spiritually, so it suffered from the impotence of a bad second. But P. J. Alexander evaluated the second iconoclast controversy very positively based on his study of Nikephoros the Patriarch. The fundamental problem of iconoclasm was to decide what is the nature of the true religious image. Alexander thought that the first iconoclast controversy had failed to grasp the essence of the problem, and that the second iconoclast controversy solved the problem on the basis of Christology. The most important work of the second iconoclast controversy is the On the Holy Icons written by St. Theodore the Studite. In the Three Refutations of the Iconoclasts, St. Theodore touches some points on the relation between prototype and image. He insists on the following : 1. Image and prototype are united through 'shared name'. 2. Image and prototype are united through 'shared likeness'. 3. Image and prototype are united through 'likeness of hypostasis'. Iconoclasts emphasized especially moral beauty, because they thought that moral beauty was the only true image. But St. Theodore confined image only to physical form. He believed that mind ascends through matter. Until the Seventh Ecumenical Council, Seeing (image) and Hearing (word) are esteemed equally. But during the second iconoclast controversy, the iconoclasts preferred hearing to seeing. On the contrary, the iconophiles preferred seeing to hearing. But today we receive the doctrine of the Seventh Ecumenical Council as orthodox teaching.

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