The Christological Foundation for the Veneration of Holy Icons
The two great periods of Iconoclasm (εικονοκλασμος, image-breaking) in the East run parallel to each other in many ways, and not the least in their respective defenders of the orthodox faith and practice. St. Nicephorus, the holy patriarch of Constantinople (806-829), followed the example of his worthy predecessor St. Germanus I (715-730) in standing firm against the Iconoclastic emperors; and St. Theodore (759-826), the abbot of the Studite monastery at Constantinople, continued the work of St. John of Damascus (676-749) by writing refutations of Iconoclasm corresponding to the Damascene’s defenses of icon worship. Each of these defenders of icon worship rests his argument firmly on the fact of the Incarnation; each stresses the same two important distinctions: between adoration and veneration, and between proper and relative worship.
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