Beliefs and Practices Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1496 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: High School  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] (Benz, p.2) The orthodox believer "pays his respect by a kiss, bow and crossing himself. Then having expressed his veneration for the icons, he steps back and rejoins the congregation." (p.2) At home the Orthodox family has an icon that hangs in the living room's eastern corner which is referred to as the "beautiful" corner, this is also true of the Orthodox bedroom. It is customary that upon entering a room that the guest greets the icons first crossing himself and then bowing all before the individuals greets his host.

IV. Luther and Calvin -- Reformation and Purification Campaign

Both Luther and Calvin led in the campaign for purification and reform of the Catholic Churches' western branch however, the anti-image movement was unsuccessful and only served to ultimately result in "…the reestablishment of the veneration of images." (Benz, 2008, p. 4) Benz notes that the creative process is removed from iconography reproduction in the Eastern Orthodox church in that the icons hardly change across the centuries and each is painted only in part by individuals as one paints the eyes and the other the hands while yet another the hair and so forth.

It is the belief of the Orthodox Eastern Church that the icons and particularly those of Christ are of the nature that are not "made by hands" & #8230;but are instead "pictures that appeared by some miracle -- as for example, the picture that Christ left of himself when as legend has it he sent the linen cloth which he had used to dry his face to King Abgar of Edessa and which is known as the sacred shroud upon which the image of Christ is impressed. (Benz, 2008, paraphrased) Benz reports that the 'image-concept' "also dominates the Christology and the doctrine of the Trinity in the Eastern Church." (Benz, 2008, p. 19)

V. Imagery, Iconography and the Role of the Church

The role of the Eastern Orthodox Church is of the nature that is given definition, in view of the image as the existence of the Church, "…so that its many members may be incorporated into the image of Jesus Christ, the 'perfect man' (Eph.4:12), in that the individual believers are 'changed into his likeness' (2 Cor. 3:18) Thus, Orthodox theology holds up the icon as the true key to the understanding of Orthodox dogma." (Benz, 2008, p. 19)

Summary and Conclusion

The basic beliefs and practices of the Western church and the Eastern Orthodox church are different in part due to the Eastern Orthodox Churches' veneration of iconography or the spiritual imagery of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Eastern Orthodox church is self-governing and is united in its faith, its sacraments and canonical discipline. A rift exists between the Western and Eastern church in that the pope is recognized as the ruler in the Western church although the Eastern Church does not fully accept the infallibility of the Pope. Iconography is viewed by the Eastern Orthodox church to be of the nature that assigns animation to iconography and literally as the icons are held, to be the location where the individual is able to connect to God. Icons are not held by the Eastern Orthodox church to be such that human hands has not made but instead is of the nature that is inspired and inhabited by the spirits of the Saints represented in the imagery of the icons. There is a great deal of formalized veneration of the icons of the Saints including protocols for greeting and honoring the religious icons upon entering into the home or church of Eastern Orthodox church believers. The real difference that exists between Western and Eastern Orthodox religion is the basis that has been used in formulating the authority vested in the Eastern Orthodox church and which has been a source of contention historically between Western and Eastern religious belief and practices.

References

1) Young, David M. (2010) What's So Wrong with the Eastern Orthodox Church? European Institute of Protestant Studies. 2007 Jan 1. Retrieved from: http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=easternorthodox

2) Meyendorf, John (2010) The Orthodox Church: General Information. Retrieved from: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/orthodox.htm

3) Benz, Ernst (2008) The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life. Transaction Publishers, 2008) Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=Q5Z_evECb1UC&dq=basic+beliefs+and+practices+of+the+Eastern+Orthodox+Church&lr=&source=gbs_navlinks_s

4) Eastern Orthodox -- What are the main beliefs. (2010) AllExperts.com. Retreived from: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Eastern-Orthodox-1456/main-beliefs.htm

5) Eastern Orthodoxy (2010) Patheos. Online retrieved from: http://www.patheos.com/Library/Eastern-Orthodoxy.html [END OF PREVIEW]

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