Dualistic separation of the body and soul brought humanity in the twenty-first century on the threshold of a dangerous development. The growth of virtual reality, hypertrophy of information and of the brain as their carrier, the pursuit of science that everything perishable including the proteins of a living organism be replaced by more durable and lasting materials – all this threatens to call into question the very bases of humanity.

Western civilization, in its modern individualistic form, tends to more and more “protect” a man from contact with another man. Contempt for the sense of touch as the “the most primordial” of all the senses additionally prevents a man belonging to the Western civilization to accept the forgotten way of Iconodulism.

Aristotle’s words are also: “In other senses man is behind many animals, and when it comes to touch, man far exceeds animals in the subtlety of this sense. It is exactly for this reason that man is the most reasonable living creature.”

Even though the icons express a view of the superiority of spirit over body, the Orthodox have always kept away from the heretical contempt of the body. The fight for the icons, was the fight for the very basics of the faith in the redeeming Incarnation in the human body, passion and resurrection of the Son of God.

According to biblical anthropology, and that means also according to the Patristic theology, man is a bilateral being – who consists of two elements: the mortal body, which characterizes the man of the earth, and the immortal soul, which comprises the living and life-giving force inside him.

Regardless of the prejudices arising from incorrect interpretation of ascetic literature, one can not live a virtuous and ascetic life - without the body! This truth of the unity of the human body and soul, that is, of the integrity of the human individual is iconically represented in the holy icons of the Orthodox Church.

According to Patristic teaching, the content of the Gospel and of the holy icons is the revelation of a new reality which followed the incarnation of the Word of God, that is, that followed His entry into the world and the human history. As a sacred image, figure, the icon is one way of profession of the Church Tradition, in parallel with the oral and the written Tradition.

Holy icons manifest to us in a visible way that God-likeness and Christ-likeness, that which makes a man a man – a wonderful and God-like living person, valuable and capable of eternal beauty and true eternal life in love with God and other people in the community of the Theanthropic Church, in community with Christ and his God-like brothers.

Calling a man to emulate the image depicted in it, icon helps man to spiritually mature and it always spiritually exalts us and connects to its prototype, that is, it introduces us into the community with living and Triune Godhead.

Visible image of Jesus Christ in the icons made with hands exalts us to His – invisible Deity.



One should know that the depicted figures of saints are present in the icons made with hands by divine grace, and their actual presence allows an Iconodule to enter into spiritual union with them and serve together with them in the mystery of salvation.

Imitation of a Christian man of the image presented on icon made with hands has substantial consequences for his salvation from death and deterioration. That image brings man into the community of the Triune God. Iconodulism and icon-veneration aids man to be spiritually alert and to seek the gift “from above”.

The common goal of the Scripture and icons made with hands is to summon man to salvation, and that man, having lit in himself the fire of love, acquire inside himself the Image of the One in whose Image he was created.

Through holy icons man gets the power of God to successfully run out the race of life. This is a great mystery.

According to Orthodox teaching, existence of holy icons made with hands outside the mystery of liturgy is inconceivable, because the Liturgy itself is in its whole a picture (icon) of the order of salvation.