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Chapter Summary

The language that frames the icon in the early years of the twelfth century is the same language that had framed the icon in the ninth century, with the texts of Nikephoros of Constantinople and Theodore of Stoudios overshadowing both eras. In the case of Symeon the New Theologian the challenge was directly aimed at the existing theological status quo. Symeon argued that theology was impossible. First, because without first having experienced God one could not speak of divine things, and second, one could not practice theology because this experience of God could not be adequately represented in either words or images. In contrast to the desire for an authentic divine experience that guides Symeon the New Theologian and Michael Psellos along their divergent readings of the icon's possibility, Eustratios of Nicaea remained firmly focused upon describing its limited capacities to their fullest extent.

Keywords: Eustratios of Nicaea; icon; Michael Psellos; Nikephoros of Constantinople; status quo; Symeon; Theodore of Stoudios; theology



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