Images of the Divine: The Theology of Icons at the Seventh Ecumenical Council - Revised Edition


This book, newly revised and updated, examines the Eastern Church's theology of icons chiefly on the basis of the acta of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787.
The political circumstances leading to the outbreak of the iconclast controversy in the eighth century are discussed in detail, but the main emphasis is on the theological arguments and assumptions of the council participants. Major themes include the nature of tradition, the relationship between image and reality, and the place of christology.
Ultimately the argument over icons was about the accessibility of the divine. Icons were held by the iconophiles to communicate a deifying grace which raised the believer to participation in the life of God.


EUR €125.00USD $155.00

Biographical Note

Ambrosios Giakalis, Ph.D. (1988) in Theology, University of Cambridge, was until his recent retirement metropolitan of Kozani in northern Greece.

Review Quotes

' Zu bewundern ist die Kraft der Synthese, mit der sehr verschiedene Vorstellungen und Traditionen in ein System gebracht worden sind.' Hans Georg Thümmel, Christianesimo della Storia, 1995. ' ...there has not been such a thorough, and thoroughly theological, discussion of the theology of icons at the Seventh Ecumenical Council for a long time. It is very welcome.' Andrew Louth, Jornal of Theological Studies, 1995. ' ...this book is a genuine contribution to theological thought and scholarship.' George T. Dennis, Theological Studies, 1994. ' This book is an important contribution to our understanding of the theology of the seventh ecumenical council of 787...This is a stimulating book and one which has long been needed.' Ken Parry, Sobornost, 1996.

Table of contents

Foreword, Henry Chadwick Preface I. Introduction II. Icon and Tradition III. Icon as an Agent of Truth IV. Icon and Reality V. Icon and Christology VI. Icon and Worship VII. The Significance of the Council Afterword 2005 Abbreviations Bibliography Supplementary Bibliography Index of Names and Places Index of Subjects


Of particular interest to theological students, this book will also appeal to art historians and all interested in the history of Late Antiquity and Byzantium.