303. Don’t Picture This: Iconoclasm

Posted on 17 June 2018

Is it idolatry to venerate an icon of a saint, or of Christ? The dispute leads the Byzantines to ponder the relation between an image and its object.

Further Reading

• A. Louth (trans.), John of Damascus: Three Treatises on the Divine Images (Crestwood: 2003).

• C. Roth, St Theodor the Studite: On the Holy Icons (Crestwood NY: 1981).

• D. Sahas, Icon and Logos: Sources in Eighth-Century Iconoclasm (Toronto: 1986).


• T. Anagnostopoulos, “Aristotle and Byzantine Iconoclasm,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 53 (2013), 763-90.

• C. Barber, Figure and Likeness: on the Limits of Representation in Byzantine Iconoclasm (Princeton: 2002).

• L. Brubaker, Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm (Bristol: 2012).

• L. Brubaker and J.F. Haldon, Byzantium in the Iconoclast Era c. 680-850: a History (Cambridge: 2011).

• A. Bryer and J. Herrin (eds), Iconoclasm: Papers Given at the Ninth Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies (Birmingham: 1977).

• K. Parry, Depicting the Word: Byzantine Iconophile Thought of the Eighth and Ninth Centuries (Leiden: 1996).

• T.T. Tollefson, St Theodore the Studite’s Defence of the Icons: Theology and Philosophy in Ninth-Century Byzantium (Oxford: 2018).


Hristo 8 July 2018

It's an intriguing episode.

Peter, perhaps when you are at Wittgenstein with his picture theory of language, you should make reference to iconophiles. Or iconoclasts?

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