Icons Then and Now: LMU’s Department of Theological Studies and the Ecumenical Institute Host Dialogue About “The Spirituality of the Icon”
A centuries-old religious art tradition was the subject of study and conversation in the heart of one of the world’s modern image capitals this week when Loyola Marymount University hosted a discussion titled “The Spirituality of the Icon,” on Wednesday, Feb. 14.
“Icons were used extensively in the first millennia and are still used today especially in Los Angeles, home of the icon, image and idol,” said Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., associate professor of theological studies at LMU.
Religious leaders and professors explored the role of icons in art and society, along with the differing uses of icons in the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.
“Religious icons depict different aspects of the human person. An icon-filled church reminds us that no one is absent from the church whether it be rich or poor, man or woman, wise man or fool for Christ,” said Metropolitan Gerasimos, leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, “What religious icons are we creating today that seek to speak to the modern world?”
More than 130 people filled the audience to hear speakers including Father Justin Sinaites, from the the Holy Monastery of St. Catherine at Mount Sinai; William Dyrness, professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena; and Marie Anne Mayeski, professor emerita of theology at LMU.
The Ecumenical Institute provides students, scholars and the Christian community with opportunities, tools and facilities to encourage communication, foster common goals, provide a critical forum for discourse and understanding, and prepare the next generation of theologians and thinkers to work for the unity of Christian churches.
Future programs of the institute will include hosting lectures on ecumenism, providing scholarships for graduate students and seminarians and producing publications. The institute also plans to develop a leading collection of library and Internet resources for the study of ecumenical relations.
Photos by Glenn Cratty (above): From left to right: Marie Anne Mayeski, Dorian Llywelyn, S.J., Fr. Justin Sinaites and William Dyrness