The Uncreated Light: An Iconographical Study of the Transfiguration in the Eastern Church

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Aug 13, 2007 - Art - 187 pages
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Distinguished religious artist Solrunn Nes in this volume explores the beauty and truth found in icons of Christ's transfiguration. As Nes observes in her introduction, the transfiguration of Jesus Christ is an especially rich subject in the abundant iconographical tradition of the Eastern Church. In weaving together iconographical representations and theological interpretation, The Uncreated Light is itself a beautiful exploration of this subject.

Structured according to the biblical account of Christ's transfiguration, the book is divided into three main parts. The first, corresponding with the ascent up the mountain, presents the iconographical theme in four representative works of previous centuries. The second section focuses on the "vision of light" and considers the Orthodox interpretation of the event based on a selection of art and texts. The third and final section parallels the descent back down the mountain; here Nes goes back to the icons themselves, interpreting them anew in light of the insights gained under the "vision of light."

Including full-color plates of the icons discussed and a lengthy appendix, The Uncreated Light is a testament to the author's own artistic grace and to her deep understanding of iconographical art as an expression of faith.

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Contents

Divine Light and Divine Darkness
59
Moses as Model for the Monk
64
Promise and Fulfillment
65
The Old and the New Covenant
67
The Transfiguration as Dogmatic Statement
68
The Transfiguration as Eschatological Sign
69
Liturgical Time and Liturgical Space
71
The Transfiguration with Reference to the Mosaic in Sant Apollinare in Classe in Ravenna
74

The Apse
13
The Triumphal Arch
14
Later Additions to the Apse
15
Depth and Perspective
16
Movement
17
Colour
18
Identification
19
The Triumphal Arch
21
Ottonian Manuscript Illumination Eleventh Century Description
24
Formal Analysis
25
Depth and Perspective
26
Colour
27
Identification
28
Russian Transfiguration Icon 1403
32
Formal Analysis
33
Movement
35
Light
36
THE VISION OF LIGHT
41
The Incarnation as Basis for Deification
43
The Incarnation as Basis for the Art of Icon Painting
46
Word and Image
50
Urbild Abbild
52
From Bethlehem to Tabor
53
The Transfiguration with Reference to the Mosaics in the Monastery of Saint Catherine in Sinai
56
Positive and Negative Theology
57
The Essence and the Energies of God
58
The Glory of the Cross
75
Martyrdom and Mystery
76
The Hope of Glory
78
Descent Ascent and Second Coming
81
The Transfiguration with Reference to Theophane the Greeks Transfiguration Icon
85
The Image and the Likeness of God
86
Theosis as the Transfiguration of Man
88
Mysticism of Intellect and Mysticism of Experience
89
The Transfiguration of the Body
92
Hesychasm
97
Criticism and Defense of Hesychasm
99
The Uncreated Light
102
Translucent Man
105
Translucent Matter
107
THE DESCENT
113
Iconographical Variation and Theological Precision
114
Sinai and Ravenna
118
Moses and Apollinaris
120
Abbot and Bishop
121
From the Formal to the Ecstatic
122
Historical Event and Existential Experience
126
Summary
129
Appendix
131
Bibliography
183
Copyright

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Page 69 - Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being bom in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Page 145 - Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here : if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Page 46 - We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Page 48 - In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Page 132 - For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Page 78 - And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Page 80 - ... illuminated with the rays of the sun, and the earth itself blooming with unfading flowers, and full of spices and fair-flowering plants, incorruptible and bearing a blessed fruit : and so strong was the perfume that it was borne even to us from thence.
Page 46 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life...
Page 77 - And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Page 81 - For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God: for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope ; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.

References to this book

Transfiguration
Dorothy Lee
No preview available - 2004

About the author (2007)

Solrunn Nes is an art historian, freelance lecturer, andwriter. Her highly regarded iconography can be seen in suchplaces as Aylesford Priory in England and St Paul's Churchin Bergen, Norway.

Bibliographic information