How Icons Show Salvation

On the weekend of October 14-16, St. Paul Orthodox Church in Dayton, OH, is hosting an Icon Exhibit, “Mary and the Saints.”  The Exhibit is free and open to the public.

Icons reflect the Orthodox theology of salvation.   In the face of criticism that the veneration of icons is idolatry, 8th Century Saint John Damascene,  offered a theological defense of the use of icons in worshiping God:

‘I do not venerate matter, I venerate the fashioner of matter, who became matter for my sake and accepted to dwell in matter and through matter worked my salvation, and I will not cease from reverencing matter, through which my salvation was worked . . .’”    (cited in Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology, Kindle Loc. 1880-83)

An icon affirms the truth of the incarnation of God in Christ, which is the salvation of the world.  The godly truth which Orthodox Christianity proclaims is that when God created the heavens and the earth, God created something distinctly “not-god”.  Creation is not the Creator.  Yet in the Gospel claim that the “Word became flesh” (John 1), the Bible lays out simply that in the most mysterious way, in the greatest miracle ever, God became that which is “not God.”   God became “not God” that “not God” might become God (to paraphrase the post-apostolic thought).  This greatest miracle ever became possible in and because of the Virgin Mary.  She became Theotokos which enabled the incarnation which makes salvation, theosis/ deification possible.

We will celebrate our salvation in exhibiting the icons which show our salvation, which make the incarnation visible to us throughout the ages.

This exhibition features more than 75 rare icons of the Virgin Mary and various other saints commemorated by Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Taken from private collections across the United States, the exhibition will include unique examples from 15th century Medieval Russia, 16th and 17th century Greece, through 19th century Imperial Russia as well as contemporary Icons painted in America. This is a singular opportunity to view prime examples of the spiritual art of the Eastern Orthodox Church as they were originally intended in their appropriate setting. Admission is free. Both self-guided and docent tours will be available.

St. Paul Church, 4451 Wagner Rd, Dayton, OH 45440
Friday, October 14th : 5-8 PM
Saturday, October 15th: 10 – 5 PM
Sunday, October 16th : 12 PM – 5 PM

Church Phone: 937-320-9977

The Greek Street Food Truck will be present, selling their fare on Friday evening from 5-9pm.



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