Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Konstantinos Georgiadis - Eusebius of Caesarea, the father of the byzantine iconoclasm (according to the Records of the 7th Ecumenical Synod)

Following the philological, historical and theological argumentation of the Greek and Latin Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Synod, which are vindicated today on the basis of modern scientific proves, my short announcement would include and explain the following positions:

The hierarchs of the 7th Ecumenical Synod call in question the value of Eusebius as a theologian, but not as an approved historian.
Eusebius couldn't propose the removal of the holy icons from the Christian churches. He knows that this ecclesiastical tradition is so ancient as the Old Testament. However, he doesn’ t believe that the icons are holy, part of the body of Christ. For him, the icons are only a kind of religious art.
The Arianizing Eusebius of Caesarea, introducing the notion of “φύσει μείζων Πατὴρ καὶ ἐλλάσσων Υἱὸς” reveals his faith that the described “θεῖον ἐνσημαινόμενον” of the holy icons, the Christ, is a created being, with the consequence that, in his mind, the veneration of the holy icons implies idolatry. Moreover, his Christological malevolence concerning the “ἐξόλων ὅλῃ μεταβολὴ” of the human nature of Christ and its ἀπόθεσις in the divinity after the Resurrection involves in principle the devaluation of the whole human nature of Christ and subsequently the devaluation of the his individual human elements, especially those περιγραπτόν. Therefore, the ἔνσαρκος Θεὸς Λόγος is deemed as indescribable, in which case also his holy icons are identified in an analogous way as a shadowy impression of him.
The reasoning of the iconoclasts of the synod of Hiereia (754) is encountered in the epistle of Eusebius of Caesaria “Πρὸς Κωνσταντίαν” and undertaken to be substantiated within the common use of the interrelated biblical passages 2 Cor 5:16 and Phil 3:21.  Therefore, the issue of Iconoclasm is concerned most especially with its idea about the πρωτότυπον of the holy icons.  For the Iconoclasts, nothing remains, after the Resurrection, of the created nature either of Christ or even of the saints, with the result that it is not possible for it to be described conjecturally.
The theory of Eusebius concerning the holy icons does not derive from the ancient Hellenic philosophy, the dualism of Plato or Plotinus, because none of them was against the material art. In a multi- cultural Byzantine Empire, ideological currents are encountered emanating as much from the Greco-Roman world as from the mysticism of the East. The inherent Gnosticism or Manicheanism in the subconscious of the Eusebius and iconoclasts is the main, perhaps even only, root cause of their heresy.

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