Semester 1 unit | Holy Images, Holy Relics and Sacred Space in the Orthodox Tradition

Semester 1 unit at St Athanasius College

The Orthodox Tradition testifies that the holy relics of saints and their iconographical representations play one of the most essential elements of the liturgical life of the Church. At the same time, relics and icons have their place in the personal devotional life of believers. The faithful believe that some icons as well as saints’ relics serve as a channel of divine grace and can perform miracles. Accordingly, the faithful kiss and touch holy images and relics and thereby participate in a unique visual and sensory experience of faith. At the same time, as scholars we are challenged to critically evaluate the cult related to icons and relics and observe how it developed and was challenged throughout history. To understand this, the unit will use the concept of hierotopy to ask the question how holy icons and relics articulate holiness, both in the past as well as the present and how they participate in the creation of holy space in both Oriental and Byzantine Orthodox traditions.
A unique aspect of this unit will include field-trips to both Byzantine and Oriental Orthodox Churches in Melbourne where students will experience sacred space and rituals, as well as meet and converse with iconographers in both Russian and Coptic Church traditions.

Unit details

College St Athanasius College
Lecturer Fr Dr Nebojsa Tumara
Level Level 3; Level 9
Study Mode Online – Synchronous
Unit Code
(with link to UMS)
DL3460A (Undergraduate)

DL9460A (Postgraduate

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