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Jos Strengholt

Why we need Icons in our Church

In this article I argue that the usage of icons is important and beneficial for the Church. We will listen to the arguments John of Damascus (ca. 675-749), the main theological defender of the usage of icons in the Church in the period between 726 and 843, when the Church was wrecked by internal disagreements over this matter.

The three treatises that he wrote on icons played a major role in the eventual defeat of iconoclasm, the movement that wanted to do away with all images in the Church.

This paper begins with a brief introduction of John’s life under Islam and of the iconoclast issue. After describing the three treatises of John, this paper describes the decision of the Seventh Ecumenical Council to support the usage of icons in Church. Then I will briefly describe how the iconoclast issue ended, before drawing some personal conclusion. Here the complete article