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The word icon comes from the Greek "eikon" which mean "image". An icon can also mean somebody symbolizing a movement (i.e. conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly). [1]

An icon is a holy image which is an art form of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The icon is not simply decorative. Many Orthodox churches have icons on the walls and the ceilings. In the ceiling or dome is the icon of Christ the Almighty, the Pantocrator.

The Eastern Orthodox Church does not permit icons representing God the Father. In addition, icons cannot be 3 dimensional (statues). The Eastern Orthodox Church also does not permit the Virgin Mary to be depicted in an icon without Christ (excluding the icon of the Annunciation).

It is common practice for iconographers not to sign their work in the belief that the glory goes to God, not to the artist.

The Iconoclastic controversy was a dispute over the veneration of icons within Christianity.



Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Flickr Public Photos


  1. Icon definition, Dictionary - MSN Encarta