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The Icon Debate

Religious Images in Russia in the 15th and 16th Centuries

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Aleksandra Sulikowska

The book explores the subject of Russian icons and their changes as well as the discussion on art that unfolded in Russia in the 15th and 16th centuries. Taking the representation of the Old Testament Trinity, attributed to Andrei Rublev, as its point of departure, it discusses and analyses the key issues of the iconography of the Holy Trinity and the process of the emergence and the dissemination of the imagery of God the Father and the New Testament Trinity in Russia. These issues are framed in the context of the debate that took place at the time within the Muscovite Orthodoxy, which concerned heresy, the relations with other denominations, the identity of the Russian Orthodox Church and the place of the icons in the existing canon.

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Contents

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Introduction. The Scope of Research and Methodology ............................7 Chapter I. The Muscovite Orthodox Church in the Face of Heresy: the 15th and the 16th Centuries ................17 Chapter II. The Origins of Russian Theological Reflection ................................................................53 Chapter III. The Notions and Problems of the Theology of the Icon in Russia................................................83 Chapter IV. Theological Discourse and Religious Practice: Icons of the Old Testament Trinity and Their Significance in the Culture of Russia ..................................123 Chapter V. How Icons Were Valued: Beauty as a Category of Russian Aesthetics.............................................157 Chapter VI. How Icons Were Valued: the Miraculous as a Criterion of Assessment ..................................................193 Chapter VII. How Icons Were Valued in Religious Practice................235 Chapter VIII. Symbolic Representations of the Trinity in Russian Iconography of the 16th Century .........................265 Conclusion. Russian Theological Reflection After the Fall of Constantinople...........................................311 Selected Bibliography ..............................................................................................321 6List of Illustrations ....................................................................................................357 Illustrations ..................................................................................................................361 Index of Names ..........................................................................................................413

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