The Role of Pictures, the Veneration of Icons and the Representation of Christ in Two Oriental Orthodox Churches of the Coptic and Ethiopian Traditions

Christine Chaillot


The Oriental Orthodox Churches include the Churches of the Coptic and Ethiopian traditions and also of the Syrian and Armenian traditions which will not be mentioned here. The veneration of icons is similar in all the
Churches of Orthodox tradition. They do speak of “veneration” of the persons represented on the icons and pictures (Christ, the Virgin and the saints). They do not speak of “adoration” or “worship” of these persons or of the icons as only God is adored, and worshiping icons would be idolatrous. This veneration is especially known in the socalled Eastern Orthodox (of the Greek, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian traditions)or Churches having accepted the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, but also in the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which is less known.

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