Orthodox Icons Seen as ‘Theology in Color’

April 10, 2010  []

On a wall behind the altar of an Orthodox camp chapel near Ligonier is a larger-than-life icon of Jesus freeing souls from Hades.

The 8-foot Jesus, robed in white, stands on his broken cross. Its shards also represent the shattered gates of Hades, which in Orthodox theology is where the righteous and unrighteous await judgment. Grasping the hands of Adam and Eve, he raises them from a dark pit.

The icon illustrates an ancient understanding of Jesus’ resurrection as the gift he offers to all humanity on a renewed Earth. While all Orthodox churches are filled with icons, the Resurrection icon in the camp chapel at Antiochian Village retreat and conference center is one of the largest in Pennsylvania and possibly the United States.

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