1. Selected images of icons
used in course lectures. [No longer available]
2. Table Comparison
of Iconophile and Iconoclast doctrines.
3. Information on assignments and researching.
Description: The history of the
iconoclastic controversy and ecumenical councils, especially for
the development of christology. History of early Christian art
and icons. Readings from Nicea II, Theodore the Studite, John
of Damascus and Theodore Abã Qurrah. Iconography and spirituality.
Byzantine & Ukrainian icons. Writing an icon. Museum/Church
visit. Weekly slide-shows. Lectures seminar, reflection papers,
major paper. [Cross listed to Theology].
Goals: To situate the debate about icons within a
historical context and within the history of Christian images.
To critically analyze and reflect upon the theology of icons in
historical figures and modern theologians. To gain an appreciation
of symbolism and art in the Eastern Christian tradition. To be
able to interpret icons and their theology, and to situate iconography
within the liturgical tradition of the Eastern churches.
Course Evaluation, Requirements & Due
a. Reflection paper #1 20%
b. Reflection paper #2 20%
c. Research Essay 40%
d. In-Class tutorial participation 20%
a & b. Reflection papers:
Reflection papers are based on the reading or topic listed below,
and should be between 1.5-2 pages. See "essay requirements"
i. First paper: Due: Week # 4. Reflection paper on the Lecture/
Tutorial readings of Theodore the Studite.
ii. Second paper: Due: Week # 6. Reflection paper on only one
icon of either Christ, Mary or a Saint. Describe everything you
see or read in the icon. Assume that you are interpreting the
icon for someone who is entirely unfamiliar with Eastern iconography.
Please provide a black-and-white photocopy of the icon and its
c. Research Essay:
The research paper is to be 8-10 pages, and should conform to
the "essay requirements" listed below. The essay topic
can be either on the theological history and development of iconography,
or a theological interpretation of any icon(s) of your choosing.
Keep in mind that such an icon(s) should yield enough information
for an 8-10 page essay. Please provide a black-and-white photocopy
of the icon and its source/location. Due: Week 11.
d. In-class participation in lectures and tutorials:
Lectures will be the first hour of the class, while the tutorials
will immediately follow the lecture. Students will be expected
to discuss and critique the readings during the lecture and tutorial
Research Essays must include a title page, an introductory/thesis
paragraph, the main body of text (ideas, arguments, critique),
endnote or footnotes, a concluding/summary paragraph, and a bibliography.
The research essays are composed of synthesis and critical analysis
of a theme/idea/event in systematic theology and/or historical
theology, and are presented from an objective point of view. The
level of discourse for research essays is "systematic theology."
All written work is to be typed and double-spaced, and is based
in 12 pt. font.
Reflection Papers include the same elements as a research paper,
with the addition of some subjective (personal, spiritual and
pastoral) reflections, but no title page and bibliography.
For a formatting reference guide, see: Kate L. Turabian. A
Manual For Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations.
Chicago: Chicago, 1973. For a guide to style, grammar and composition
in general, see: William Strunk. The Elements of Style.
Rev., intro. and a chapter on writing by E.B. White. 2. ed. New
York: Macmillan, 1972. Or, Joseph M. Williams. Style: Toward
Clarity and Grace. Chicago: Chicago, 1990.
a. Baggley, John. Festival Icons for the Christian Year.
Crestwood: St Vladimir's, 2000.
b. Nouwen, Henry. Behold the Beauty of the Lord. Notre
Dame, IN: Ave Maria, 2000.
d. Selected photocopied materials, and on-line resources.
1. Introduction & Overview
- course requirements; overview of materials; web-resources; introductory
video (23 min.).
2. Historical Background: Christology &
- the prohibition of images in the Scriptures; the christological
and the catacombs.
Toronto site: Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): Early
Geography: Map of early
3. The Triumph of Orthodoxy: The Iconophile
John of Damascus (676-749); Theodore Ab Qurrah (755-830); Iconoclastic
council of 754; St. Catherine's monastery (Sinai) & St. Sophia's
(Constantinople); types of icons
of Christ (PDF).
Catherine's Monastery (Sinai)
[Some images, icons and commentary].
Sophia (Constantinople, modern Istanbul)
4. The Triumph of Orthodoxy: The Iconophile
- the Council of Nicea II (787) and the Sunday of Orthodoxy; Theodore
The Studite (759-826); types of
icons of Theotokos-Mary.
the Theotokos - Mary.
Images in Ravenna.
Comparison Table: Iconoclasts
v.s. Iconophiles [handed out as part of your syllabus].
5. Spirituality of Icon Writers & Icons
- prayer: before writing an icon, and for the consecration of
icons; beginning to read & write icons.
6. Iconography in Kyivan-Rus'
- Ukrainian and Russian Icons (11th - 15th centuries); St. Sophia's
(Kyiv); Rublev's Trinity.
Icons: Rublev's Trinity (lines
icons (see the section on c.11-15th centuries).
7. Evolution of Architecture, Iconostases
and Festival Icons
- ancient, medieval and modern icon-screens; initial stages of
writing an icon.
(icon-screen) & Saints.
of the Liturgical year.
8. Festival Icons of Christ & Development
of Colours and Perspectives in Iconography
- laws of colour and inverse-perspective; stages of writing
9. Festival Icons, Non-Byzantine/Slavic
Icons & Popular Icons
- Video excerpts: painting and layers.
10. Icons of the Pascha & Completing
- Video excerpts: final touches on icons.
11. Liturgy & Icons: A Modern Ukrainian
- icons in the liturgical and architectural setting; preparation
for church visit.
n.b.: The scheduling of the following two weeks and the places we visit may vary.
12. Aesthetics, Architecture
- Visit to a church to experience iconography in its liturgical
and architectural setting; OR a museum vist.
Malcove Colletion (UofT)
13. Conclusion: Aesthetics, Architecture and Worship
- Visit to a church to experience iconography in its liturgical and architectural setting; OR a museum vist.
During regular class hours.
St. George's Greek Orthodox Church
115 Bond St (E. of Yonge, N. of Dundas).