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Bd. 1 Decembrie 1918 Nr. 13, RO - 510.

207, Alba
Iulia (AB), Romnia; Tel./Fax: 0040- 258.835.901;


Ttile of the work / Author / Academic affiliation


Church Union in Transylvania and Its Impact on Visual Art

The present paper deals with the topic of intercultural exchange between the Latin
West and the Orthodox East in the regions of the Carpathian Mountains in the
period between 17th and 18th centuries. The author focuses on the diffusion of
Orthodox icons into Roman Catholic churches, as well as on the diffusion (and, later,
the acculturation) of western glass painted images in Transylvania. These
phenomena were made possible by the political, sociological, and cultural context at
the time, triggered mainly by the Union of the Orthodox Church with the Roman
Catholic Church.
Institute for Byzantine and Eastern Christian Studies, o.p.s., Olomouc

2. Ideological Skirmishes between nationalist and communist Youth at

the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade (19361941)

According to the archival documentation of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the

University of Belgrade, students press and literature, the paper shows ideological
skirmishes between nationalist and communist youth at the Faculty of the Orthodox
Theology in Belgrade between 1936 and 1941 and refers how communists operated
towards divided students organizations and groups.
Aleksandar RAKOVI,
Institute for Recent History of Serbia, Belgrade

3. The biblical argumentation in the

of St. Theodore, the Studite

Patristic theology is very much linked with the Scriptures. Practically, the Fathers of
the Church have dedicated a great part of their works to the exegesis of the Scripture.

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But even when they are dealing with other themes in their dogmatic, polemic, or
ascetic writings, the Scriptures remain their main source. Taking into consideration
this aspect, this study aims to investigate the way in which St. Theodore the Studite
uses the Scriptures in his treaties against the iconoclasts. Because the first two treaties
are designed by St. Theodore as a dialogue between an iconodule and an iconoclast
and both are using the same biblical texts, this study seeks to bring out also the way
in which the iconoclasts used the sacred texts to support their conceptions. To this
end this contribution touches on aspects such as: the importance of the Scriptures
and the authority of the biblical texts in iconoclastic controversy; the most frequently
cited Old and New Testament texts and verses; biblical hermeneutics beyond St.
Theodores exegesis and beyond the iconoclastic biblical interpretation.
Marian VILD,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest

4. Theandric Nature and Dogmatical Iconicity of The Orthodox Baptism

Since Baptism is the first among the Mysteries of the Orthodox Church of Christ, the
infringement of its essence results in the most severe negative consequences for the
principles of the Orthodox Faith and for living by this Faith. Its multidimensional
iconicity consists in immersion in two natures of our Saviour Jesus Christ, a Divine,
that is participation in the life of the Holy Trinity, and a human through taking part
in His Death, Burial and Resurrection. For this reason, the two-fold ritual trinitarity
of Baptism manifests itself without confusion, without change, without divisibility,
without separability of Gods order which reveals itself in the invocation of the Divine
Hypostases, and human order which corresponds with three full descents into the
water as the symbols of our participation in the redemptive Events. In accordance
with the words of St. Paul the Apostle, the unity of Baptism is a consequence of the
unity of Faith in one God (Ephesians 4:5), and since the unity of Faith is violated,
there can be no question of sacramental effectiveness of a non-Orthodox ritual. Thus
the principle of baptismal economy cannot nullify the sacramental norm, it merely
allows for not repeating a rite which was correctly performed outside of the
Orthodox Church, whereas only in the Church can it become the source of Gods
Institute of Philosophy, University of Wroclaw

5. The Dissolution of Caransebes's Diocese

and the Destiny of Bishop Veniamin Nistor under the Communist Regime

The old Diocese of Caransebes, institution that gathered around the Romanian
society from Banat, had an unfortunate destiny. Following the political changes from
Romania, occurred since 1948, the role and importance of Romanian Orthodoxy
were considerably diminished by the communist regime. Due to the political
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enmities regarding the Church, the Diocese of Caransebes was ended by fusion in
February 5, 1949 with the Archbishopric of Timisoara. A year before this event
occur, the Theological Academy from Caransebes had to close its gates due to the
same political reasons. Veniamin Nistor, enthroned as bishop of Caransebes in
August 24, 1941, in times of war and in a difficult period for the entire Romanian
society, witness these dramatic changes in the life of the Church from Banat.
Although he proved to be in many ways a true founder and organizer of the diocese
through he's spiritual, cultural and social vision, bishop Veniamin Nistor was forced
to leave his mission and to withdraw from his diocese, as inmate, at Alba Iulia,
where he served as abbot of the Holy Trinity monastery (the Reunification
Cathedral). The spiritual sufferings and the health problems caused by he's forced
departure from Caransebes hastened he's death. At February 5, 1963, bishop
Veniamin Nistor passed away and was buried near the hermitage St. John the
Baptist Alba Iulia, alongside two other bishops persecuted under the communist
regime: Ioan Stroia, bishop of the Army, and Policarp Moruca, the first bishop of all
Romanians from USA. In the Diocese of Caransebes memory, bishop Veniamin
Nistor remained a true model of devotion and dedication, and for the sufferings he
endured by the dissolution of the bishopric in 1949, he is celebrated as a martyr of
Banat's Church.
Daniel ALIC,
Department of Orthodox Theology in Caransebe, Eftimie Murgu University of Reia

6. The Studite Anthropology in the missionary context of the icon

The human being wanted, from the beginning of times, to free his face completely
from any materiality, meaning to be like God (Genesis 3:5). This desiderate is
fulfilled completely through Incarnation, when the Son of God, born Human,
succeeded to give to the humanity an inner strength capable of transform the face
made from dirt so the divine created and uncreated energies reside in. according to
the Orthodox anthropology, the face of God in the human being is rebuilt, changed
and transformed in God in grace. The novelty of the present study resides first in the
fact that offers, for the first time in the Romanian Orthodox missionary theology, an
iconic synthesis based on an anthropological missionary fundament, placing the
work of Saint Theodore the Studite (759-826) at the centre of the scientific research.
Secondly, our analysis is contemporary appealing and interesting because it fortifies
the iconological mission of the Orthodox Church in the contemporary society and
places on a level of axiological equality The Word of God, meaning the Gospel, and
the Image/Icon, meaning His divine-human Face, a perspective that is absolutely
odd for the Protestant world, even after 500 years after the Reform from 1517,
opening the door for a possible inter-confessional dialogue on the theme of the
divine theophanies.

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Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

7. Gregory of Nyssas Teaching of United Man as Gods Image

and its logical Context

Gregory of Nyssas concept of United Man, vividly discussed in the current

academic literature, will be reviewed. According to this concept, all people
constitute, in a certain sense, a single person, and the word man, which points to
the humankind in general and not to a human individual, could be properly used
only in the singular but not in the plural form. According to Gregory, exactly this
United Man is the Gods image which is spoken about in Gen 1:2627 (De hominis
opificio XVI.1618). It is suggested that Gregory of Nyssas course of thought is
familiar with Wittgensteins line in analytic philosophy. Despite the reconstruction
of the historical and philosophical background of this concept proposed by J.
Zachhuber and R. Cross, it is suggested that there is no need to look for the sources
of Gregorys inspiration in either Alexander of Aphrodisias or Neoplatonic authors.
Instead, I argue that, in his general treatment of these subjects, Gregory relied on the
Peripatetic philosophical context, manifested, for example, in his use of the principle
of greaterlesser and the concept of participation of individuals in their natural
species. The main source of the Peripatetic ideas for Gregory was Porphyrys Isagoge,
which is especially evident in the concepts of whole man as well as the association
of the individual with divisibility and the general with unity, although Gregory
might also have been aware of other writings belonging to the tradition of
commentaries on Aristotles Categories.
National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg

8. A challenge posed by postmodernity:

from idolatrous fashion to idolizing fashion

As secularized man has developed a postmodern mindset, the concept of Luciferic

individualism acquired an autarchic evolution, in keeping with the postulate
formulated by Paul Lakeland, who foresaw the escalation of demonic influence on
the world, accompanying the emancipation characteristic to the advanced society.
Idolizing the self has become a true "fashion", generating further idolatry of stars,
sports, various types of entertainment, or even ones work or profession. Fashion
itself is an idol: one cannot be "cool" unless one is "trendy". The present study aims
to investigate the factors accounting for this status quo, and provide possible
missionary solutions, from the perspective of Orthodox missiology.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest

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9. The Beauty of Holiness: Holy Icons as Spiritual Education

The deep beauty of holy icons is not attached primarily to the skill of the artist, but
rather to the proper disclosure of the truths that they reveal. Written correctly, holy
icons form a central component of Orthodox Christian theology, locating persons
within Traditional Christian understandings of God, His saints and the Church.
Icons provide both spiritual orientation and education regarding Christianitys core
metaphysical, epistemological, historical, and spiritual understandings. Wrongly
written icons, modernistic and expressionistic paintings, fail in this regard; truth is
distorted by the desires of the artist. This presentation briefly explores five
dimensions about which holy icons provide instruction, situating canonical
understandings regarding the nature of reality and of our place within that reality:
(1) the relation of persons to the world; (2) the relation of persons to animals; (3) the
proper relationship among living humans; (4) the relation among humans over time;
(5) the relation between persons and God. Readers are put on notice, however, that
this analysis of icons necessarily truncates the phenomena it analyzes. Holy icons
are set within lived experiential ritual practices, interacting with reality in facets
beyond the ability of academic discursive analysis to conceptualize. It is by praying
with holy icons that we truly come to appreciate the ways in which they embody
canonical understandings regarding the nature and meaning of the cosmos and of
mans place within it. They disclose the relation between man and God, revealing
how, with whom, and to whom to pray.
Department of Philosophy, St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas

10. The Uncreated Destination of a Created Icon: St Maximus the


Creating man according to his image and likeness, God gave him goal to achieve,
and ordered everything so that man can get it. The God-given goal of mans
existence is the union with his Creator. The capability to achieve that union is the
one and only content of the image of God in man. Therefore, we see that mans
existence is set up in a dialectical frame of created and uncreated realities. Since both
the beginning and the goal of human existence belong to the domain of uncreated,
the question that I would like to ask and try to resolve, starting from ideas given by
St Maximus the Confessor, especially in his Amb. 10, is how to understand
createdness of man, that created and living image of the uncreated God?
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade

11. Moseslife re-written acording to the New Testament

and to the Sucevita Monastery Paintings

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The prophet Moses represents for Christians a religious leader, his life been re-
written in New Testament from Lukes writing and St. Paul epistles. From Stephens
archideacon apology its a lifes Moses known periodization, detailed later and
better by Hebrew Epistle. 2 Corinthians epistle reveal anthitetically the face of the
seer from Sinai with the glory of Christians which are called to see the reality of
heaven kingdom. His face became a inspirational source from Christian arts. The
mortuar chamber of Sucevita monastery, in the 41 pictural scenes reveal the life cycle
of Moses, give a moralizing and Christian sense, using Holy Bibles informations
and apocryphal writings. The religious leader of Israel helped by God, become the
prototype of Christian theocrat from XVIth century. In this manner, the picture
becomes didactical source through viewing, biblical and liturgical cathehesis, but
also testimony of deceased founders good name.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Iasi

12. Symbol and Icon as visible Manifestations of Christ in the Holy


As visible manifestations of the eschatological realm in the liturgical practice of the

Church, the symbol and the icon belong to the empirical world, and their
characteristic note is given by their correlation with the transcendence. By the agency
of the Holy Spirit, the two become environments through which Christ reveals His
presence and saving actions in the Church. They both unveil and shroud, at the same
time, the novel reality of the Aeon to come, for in this world "we know only in part",
in such a manner, so as to make the man crave eschatological perfection. Both the
icon and the symbol engage the human spirit in its wholeness, which in turn requires
a certain degree of ascesis and spiritual delicacy in order to perceive their message.
The liturgical symbol is both an "icon" of the economy of salvation and an "icon" of
the world to come. During the Holy Liturgy, everything becomes a window to the
eschatological realm, all the painted icons and the liturgical rituals point to the
mystical Eucharistic Reality, the warrant of our future wholeness.
Ciprian STREZA
Faculy of Orthodox Theology, Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu

13. Stabilization Methods of Documents affected by Fires

Fire causes different irreversible damages to constituent material of religious books

and documents. Charred paper is fragile, browned and will become dust at the
slightest touch. Even if documents dont come in direct contact fire, smoke and soot
will alter colours, set on their surface, being hard to remove.
This paper deals about the conservation treatments for some charred documents to
stop the biological attack and to clean the surface of the document in order to
provide it with latter protection, to consolidate the support material and to bring the
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documents to a condition similar to its original one.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

14. The contribution of a painter to the fulfillment of a community:

Sava Henia and the Rhu parish

Sava Henia is considered one of the great painters of the 19th century, the creator of
a valuable work that enriched the cultural heritage of our country. The present study
intends to rediscover, based on documents from archives, an episode from his
artistic career: the circumstances which led him to paint several icons for the Rhu
parish church, Alba County. The episode is emblematic for the painter's nationwide
renown: although he had been living in Bucharest for several decades, Sava Henia
was still remembered and appreciated by a local community in Transylvania.
Drago I. UMAN,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University 1 Decembrie 1918, Alba Iulia

15. Christ Image of God, a chapter of Pauline Christology

This article focuses on prominent concepts that Apostle Paul uses in different
contexts to describe Jesus as the one who preexisted in Gods form and whose
Incarnation supremely imaged God (1 Tim 3:16: ephanerth en sarki). Christ, the new
Adam, is the perfect image of God (2 Cor 4:4) who reflects the glory of God. The
Apostle identifies Christ as the eikn (representation, icon) of God on whose face the
glory of God shines (2 Cor 4:4.6). In Phil 2:6-11, being equal with God is related to being
in the form of God (morph theou). The Son of God is the eikn of the unseen God and
superior to all creation (Col 1:15), because all things were created through Him (Col
1:16). Heb 1:3 expresses the Sons identity of nature with the Father (apaugasma tes
doxes, brightness of His glory), and that the Son is the perfect and eternal icon of
the Father (character tes upostaseos, the express image of His person). This study
argues for the Christological significance of Pauls hermeneutic of these concepts in
relation to Holy Scripture and Churchs Tradition.
Department of Orthodox Theology in Caransebe, Eftimie Murgu University of Reia

16. Modern iconoclasm and contemporary missionary challenges

The iconoclasm of eight and ninth centuries remained in the Church's memory as a
time of hard challenges. But it seems like the same attitude starts to be subtly
insinuated in today's european society. It is now asked for icons to be removed from
public institutions, for churches to be turned in hospitals or asylums, clerics being
pushed towards an edge of the mission - social work, and convinced that their

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prayers are less important to those in need, a world in which we are slowly pushed
towards a huge limitation of our religious existence and where the only place of
fulfilling the whole, predicts to be like 2 millennia ago: in catacombs.
This is why our study will try to highlight the new forms of iconoclasm, insinuated
or declared. On the other hand, to highlight the ways and missionary opportunities
for the clergy to use, with the intent of keeping and developing mission towards
which it is called by vocation.
Gabriel SORESCU,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Craiova

17. Modern man between the Image of the Slave and images

This paper wishes to be a Christian-Orthodox answer before the deleterious tendencies

of the modern man, so much invoked by postmodernity. Appearing under different
evolutionist, existentialist, hedonist, libertinism concepts or different slogans (such as
get religion out of school or we want hospitals, not cathedrals), its final purpose is to
deride God and to send Him in an enclosed space. Sitting on this prestigious pedestal,
the modern man feels free to anchor himself, massively, into visibility, giving birth to
a new diversity of idols that undermine dialogue and destroys transparency. In this
vicious circle of the desire for excess of possession and objectual manipulation, for the
contemporary man the ontological identity of image of the Archetype becomes rather
discomfortable, embracing phantasms that are spiritually baneful. Thus, the universe in
not perceived as a space destined to transfiguration through the liturgical acts, but as a
good place to idolize and consume.
tefan FLOREA,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Valahia University of Targoviste

18. The religious imaginary of Jehovahs Witnesses

Landmarks of an ambivalent relationship with modernity and postmodernity It is

common knowledge that Jehovahs Witnesses reject the veneration of icons, which they
equate with idol worshipping, while the Kingdom Halls do not contain any religious
image or representation (icon, statue, religious painting). This aniconic attitude, however,
is not consistent. Jehovahs Witnesses publications are abundantly illustrated with
biblical characters or episodes, eschatologic representations, as well as pictures intended
to reveal the stark contrast between their own ideal world, and the corrupted world
outside their Organization. This imagery seems to have a utilitarian purpose, rather than
an aesthetic one, aiming mainly to create strong (positive or negative) emotions able to
serve the prozelytisme of the Organization. The present study aims to investigate, by
means of images, the manner in which Jehovahs Witnesses describe themselves and
their doctrine, as well as their position in relation to the mainstream society and its values.
We shall examine the illustration of the recent publications issued by Jehovahs
Witnesses, respectively the official Romanian-language website of the Organization, in

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order to reveal the predilect themes embraced by its imagery, to identify its stereotypes
and cliches, and to analyze also the dynamics of the interplay of identity and alterity. Our
ultimate purpose is to ascertain to what extent illustrations depict an anti-modern, anti-
materialistic organization, as it claims to be, or rather an organization which is
comfortable with todays world, and employs all modern means in order to gain new
adherents. It is important to note that Charles Russell, the founder of the Organization
known today as Jehovahs witnesses, was one of the first religious leaders to use the new
invention of cinema in his missionary activity (Photo-Drama of Creation, 1912). From
then until today, the relationship of the Jehovahs Witnesses with the world is ambivelent
and paradoxical and the exploitation of the image has become industry.
Radu Petre MUREAN,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest

19. The hesychastic mandorla. Apophatic Art and Hesychast Theology

In this study, we will try to present the iconographic tradition as a form of visual
theology, though it is difficult to conceptualize what it used to be like in the
immediate presence of God. The Transfiguration is one of the keys that can unlock the
mystery of our eschatological fate, glorified body and the participation in the energies of
God. All the ascetics who had the experience of the uncreated light or were
transfigures themselves describe it in very similar way and connect it with the
Transfiguration of Christ. It is only in later hesychasm that we are assured
theologically that these experiences were in the body. Within this context, liturgical
art and aesthetics differ from secular aesthetics, as being beyond the five senses and
beyond the art itself. The Fathers, from Origen to John of Damascus, refer to Christ
as the visible image and consubstantial icon of the Father. Icons were anything more than
vessels of the grace of God and suggest the real presence of the grace of the depicted
person. In the Old Testament, God denied the wish of anyone who asked to see him
directly. The desire to see God was impossible before the Incarnation of Christ. The
mosaic of the Transfiguration in St Catherine Monastery on Mount Sinai shows a
completely glorified Christ with eight rays emanating from his body and introduces the
luminous mandorla, a symbol that symbolizes the glory of God. The mandorla of the
Sinai mosaic is oval, whereas the mandorla of the Rabbula Gospels is round. These
two types express the glory of God in different way, highlighting the
correspondence between theological concepts and the visual language. Mandorla
expresses visually the Jewish concept of kabod, that connoted a more physical,
concrete presence than the abstract meaning of . Certain scholars separate two
main meanings of kabod: shekinah (from shakan, to live in a tent or simply to
dwell) and yeqara (from yqr, the sensory splendor of light), in order to express this
visual manifestation of the two natures of Christ. So, the oval mandorla corresponds
with the luminous characterists of the kabod as yeqara. Here, the three concentric oval
layers, increasingly dark, represent the depiction of the excessive divine light as the
darkness of the incognoscibility of God, even in revelation. The round mandorla, on

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the other hand, represents the manifestation of the kabod-glory of God as
shekinah/tabernacle. Here, the emphasis on the spatial rather than luminous nature
of mandorla described the glimpse of the Trinity, as opposed to a less-historicized
reading that emphasized the continuous splendor of Christ.
The Transfiguration enjoyed a renewed interest in fourteenth-century theology, and,
at the same time, a mysterious complex mandorla made its appearance, the so-called
hesychastic mandorla (first appears in the churches of Mistras and in manuscripts of
the ex-emperor and hesychastic monk, John Cantacuzenos). It consists of a
geometric design as two superimposed concave squares (actually, a square and a
rhombus) inside a circle. These three shapes circle-square-rhombus superimposed
on top of each other indicate the Trinity. This ties with Gregory Palamass attempt
to harmonize the days of the Gospel narratives: six (six figures who are visible)
and eight (adds the two who were invisible but certainly present, the Father and
the Holy Spirit). Therefore, in our study we analyze how the icon of the
Transfiguration encapsulates the ascetic ascent to deification.
Nichifor TNASE,
Department of Orthodox Theology in Caransebe, Eftimie Murgu University of Reia

20. Multiculturalism as a Religion of Politics

Marked by both social and cultural fragmentations Western Europe seeks

restructurings of the culture, in order to provide a balance of social and spiritual
context alike. A radical democracy that sanctifies diversity (1980-1990) opposes to
conservatorism of resistance (1968-1980) and is exhausted today in an effort to
normalizing the values that is marked in its turn by an unexpected element, which
is called by the researchers in classical sociology liberal radicalism born of the
conflict between sociology of diversity and inclusive sociology. The church is caught
between his ideal, a people of God, and the European ideal, a new people without
national identity. The ideology of globalization becomes strength of manufacturing
of this European people. Conservatism is opposed to cultural Marxism. Is it a
solution, especially when using Christian ethics elements, in order to instill political
contents? Thus is born the tension of multiculturalism, facilitation of a democracy of
diversity at the expense of democracy of representativeness.
Perhaps no such social and cultural dilution would be important in the Church's
missionary ethos if it would not suggest the birth of a new temptation:
totalitarianism. Hence the resistance to multiculturalism and developing canonical
based mystical reservations in Orthodoxy, hence the nationalist reaction of both
German and French peoples, clotting around some anti-multicultural leaders in
Great Britain (Brexit belonging to the cultural themes, not to the economic area). Is
the European theological thinking able to help to assess, diagnose and avoid a
macro-cultural tragedy? Signs can be identified including analysis of social
Constantin NECULA,

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Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Andrei Saguna University, Sibiu

21. Neuter - a Way to Involution

The new type of gender ideology overrides the biological and psychological realities
of the person, desiring reconstruction of a new man, androgynous type, neuter. This
neomarxist doctrine is a direct attack on the family and child, creating an
atmosphere of promiscuity and confusion through the disappearance of real
biological gender. By ideological education (for example sex education) the child is
misguided to experience sexual identities. These fake psychological reconstructions
of the person are an attack on the rights of its real identity. Man was created by God,
man and woman, without the existence in the Holy Scripture of a third gender,
neutral. Imposing this ideology against the integrity of the person has only one
seam, the antichrist, the denial of man as a creature of God who is tending towards
Maria A. URECHE,
Faculty of Law Sciences, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

Constantin N. GHEORGHIU
High school, Gura Humorului

22. Icons and iconography in the West Syriac Church

From an orthodox perspective, the heresy condemned at the second council of

Nicaea (787), the iconoclasm, is considered to be the last form of development of the
heresies condemned at the previous six ecumenical councils, as it comes directly
against the very reason of Christs incarnation and, consequently, against the
doctrine of salvation the possibility of human transfiguration. Christ is the perfect
human and, in consequence, those who follow Him, Virgin Mary and the saints, are
His very icons that reached the holiness by participation to Christs divine life. In
the context of the commemorative year 2017 dedicated by the Romanian Orthodox
Patriarchate to the icon painters and iconography it would be interesting and quite
new for the Romanian theological landscape to focus on the theology of icons and
sacred art in the West Syriac Church that had a parallel existence with the Byzantine
Church (from 451 onwards, at least) and did not really take contact with the
iconoclast movement. And yet, one can find the icons present in its cult and
determinative in the liturgical year. This paper will be dedicated to this subject,
observing two directions one first section dedicated to the theological base of the
icons usage in the cult and a second one presenting and analysing some concrete
ancient icons and their connection with the annual liturgical festivals in the West
Syriac Church.
Benedict (Valentin) VESA,

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Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

23. New media between the created image and avatars

The study aims to bring to the attention of both the theological environment and the
socio-psychological one, the effect that the media have in the evolution of human.
The author started from the interhuman relationships that are to be found strictly in
the direct communication space, which are straightforward (unmediated), reviewed
the effect of technique over the human spirit and ended up in the postmodern era,
bringing forth the present cultural industries in order to shape up the itinerary that
communication takes as a direct and necessary form in the evolution of the created
image. How affected is the communication as a basis of the communion and as an
essential element in the perfection of the divine image within man, is still a problem
under debate, since, as the author mentions: Excessive, one-sided quest of
communication and appearance of communion, in the technical world, can destroy
us as human beings, robotizes us, dismantles the figure of God within us, and there
are a lot that convert their feelings and emotions by living in fact fading off their love
life in the internet world. The study appeals at elements from the fundamentals of
communication, to studies and specialized in mediology researchers, to critics of
postmodernism, but all these are to be found within the basics of theology of the
Holy Fathers. Without claiming to have elucidated the problematic that the new
cultural industry effects rise, the hereby study is a overview of the relation of man
to their own selves and implicitly in connection with their peers, the two coordinates
of the evolution/involution of man.
Liliana NACLAD,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Ovidius University, Constana

24. Images and Divine Presence in the Intertestamental Apocrypha

Apocrypha are written works with a biblical theme, that are either related to the Old
Testament (Pseudepigrapha), or the New Testament (Christian Apocrypha), and are
not part of the canonical holy books.
The Holy Parents and the ecclesiastical writers consider these works, to be of a
religious nature, as well as being of doubtful origin and containing both true and
false teachings.
The Apocrypha are especially important in the study of Judaism from the period of
the Second Temple and also for understanding Christianity from its beginning.
These books have enjoyed great popularity among both Jews and Christians.
In ancient Judaism, there is a certain tension regarding the conception of Divinity.
On one hand God lives in Heaven, far away from humans, but on the other hand He
intervenes in the world directly or through intermediaries (in his different forms or
through angels). The opinions of theologians on the canonical text of the Genesis 18
(The Mamvri Epiphany) are divided: some see it as a theophany and others as an

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Apart from the pre-exile biblical literature, where we can find a series of theophanies
(particularly the one from Sinai), we also have the inter-testamentary literature
where there are mentions of other theophanies or apocalyptical visions in which
divine images appear.
Even when God communicates His presence to an elected person (Enoch, Esdras,
Baruch etc.) we can speak of some form of divine presence. In addition, the presence
or the image of divinity can be represented by an angel, and when God doesnt show
Himself to man directly, descending to Earth, He elevates the man to Heaven showing
his glory and majesty. So, we are still talking about a Divine presence. Even the
promise of salvation indicates a visible presence of God, Jerusalem and Zion being
often referred to as His home. Last, but not least, we have in the Apocrypha the image
of the Divinity as a messianic figure.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

25. Orthodox Icon and Religious Image. An analytical Look

The study I propose compare different religious icons, images or symbols. Such an
approach highlight the iconic depth of the authentic Christian theology. Every
religion has like symbolic element the idea of struggle and spiritual power, but the
Orthodoxy implies not so much force as love and the anastasic meeting with God. I
will present symbols from Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc. In these
symbols, we will seek common elements that can make a dialog connection between
them and the Christian world. The orthodox icon has a line that exceeds any other
non-Christian religious symbol. It is about epectatic dimension that makes form art a
scale of Bethel, an ascent to the infinite Divine, which is Love first, not force, not
fecundity or abundance.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

26. From idol to icon and modern "iconoclasm" today

This study aims to pursue the missionary valences of icons in today society.
Accepting the premise that the Church appropriated with certain reservations the
venerations of icons in parallel with the damnation of the idolatrous practices and
relying on the theological argumentation of the Holy Fathers of the 8th and 9th
centuries, the Orthodox Church has assumed this ontological necessity of
representation, denouncing excesses which were interpreted as idolatry and have
provoked the reactions of the Byzantine iconoclasm. Today, in a similar way the
resistance to the religious symbol reflects on the one hand an inflation of
representations and sometimes a blatant exposure of icons, on the other hand shows
a misunderstanding of the true nature of the icon and an unwarranted fear of a

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return to idolatrous practices.
Aurel PAVEL,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Andrei Saguna University, Sibiu

27. The Snail, Icon / Blazon of Saint Anthim The Iberian

Somewhere, behind the blocks of flats in the Unirii Boulevard of Bucharest, there is
one of the most beautiful monasteries, that of Anthim the Iberian, in which the richly
adorned portal includes, in the lower area, a circular medallion, apparently akin to
the sinewy creeping stems around it. In truth, there is a snail there, yet in a
completely special posture.
In the printed works of Saint Anthim there appear the coats of arms specific of the
Wallachian blazon of the times of Saint Constantin Brncoveanu and tefan
Cantacuzino, as well as the icon of the Holy Emperor Constantin and the Holy
Empress Helena. After having dedicated many years to the printing of books, the
Metropolitan had the impressive place of worship in Bucharest edified, in the design
of which he participated personally, as one can see from the miniatures reproducing
the church and appearing in Aezmntul Mnstirii Tuturor Sfinilor / The Settlement
of the Monastery of All the Saints (1713) and in Hrisovul Arhieresc al Sfntului Antim,
mitropolitul rii Romneti / The Episcopal Chronicle of Saint Anthim, Metropolitan
of Wallachia (1715).
At the basis of the church appears the snail, an unusual posture. While in 1885, the
observation concerning the presence of "his coiling snail" (melcul su culbecul) in the
sculptures realized by Metropolitan Anthim was leading to the supposition that this
creature could have been for Anthim "a sort of emblem", later on the snail was
considered "the blazon", "the personal blazon" of Metropolitan Anthim the Iberian.
The reason why this insignificant creature was chosen could be deciphered in the
verses that accompany The Settlement (Aezmntul):
May every creature, as the prophet says,
Praise the Lord in every place.
The snail, too, lifts his horns up high,
Teaching us all to give glory to Him.
(Toat suflarea, zice prorocul,
Cnte pre Domnul peste tot locul.
i melciul nc coarne nal,
Ca s-L ludm, pre toi ne-nva.)
The presence of this creature in the European heraldry is extremely rare, but he
always sticks to the ground or to the support he is crawling on, and from which he
cannot tear himself away, whereas Saint Anthim's snail has a totally atypical
posture, one in which the shell, the home carried until then on the back, has become
foundation, while the soft part, of mollusk, has left behind this status of crawler on
the ground, has left behind the things below, to turn with all its might towards the
things up high, along a vertical axis identified with the vertical arm of the Cross.

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Mihaela PALADE,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest

28. The Priest Gheorghe Zemora.

A marthyr in the Romanian Communist Gulag

In mid twentieth century, in an Eastern Europe abandoned by the Western powers

beyond the "Iron Curtain", the Church the only institution that had the courage to
teach a doctrine different than the official "materialist atheist" one lived through
relentless moments. Beaten, marginalized, ostracized for a "new society" whose
supreme postulate was to create the "new man" utterly alienated from God, the
Church pastors experienced terror and repression (some even death), their only
"fault" being to have confessed, served and followed Christ. All these sufferers
some known, others obscure have written, through their sacrifice and the courage
of their testimony, a golden page in the book of immortality of the Church and
Romanian people. Such a sufferer (less known in the specialty historiography) was
priest Gheorghe Zemora from Sebeel (Alba County), spiritual pastor in two
parishes of Hunedoara County, Vulcan I (1929-1951) and Nevoie/Lunca (1956-
1961), arrested and interrogated in 1947-1948, then relocated to house arrest in
Mnstirea, Clrai County (1951-1955), whose life, service and sacrifice will be
presented briefly in the pages of this study.
Florin DOBREI,
Department of Orthodox Theology in Caransebe, Eftimie Murgu University of Reia

29. The Man, the Client of the modern Social Assistance

An Anthropological ethical Analysis

The modern social assitance, with roots in the broken humanism of the nineteenth
century, approaches the man as a client, a beneficiary or a client sysytem.
The Social market is full of modern social assistance services, while the quality
of life is decreasing. The man is approached from a bio-psycho-social perspective in
a very complex way, while the spiritual programmatic perspective, the foundation
and the premise of developing life and of solution of social problems are being
neglected. The percentage of definitive solution of social problems to modern
human is the same as the percentage of the repentance which is pretty
low. Generally speaking, the ethics of the social professions are based on principles
that refuse God, the source of life, systematically. The modern philathropy became
a professional service, where love and subjectivism have to be eliminated in order to
make room for objectivism. The deflection from subject to object multiplies in
geometric progression the clients of social assitance. The Gods face redescovery in
man is the premise to the development of social assistance on a direction that will
assure pozitive results.

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Mihail DAN
Faculty of Law Sciences, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

30. The sacred Image. From traditional View to Postmodernity

One way to categorize religious traditions is whether or not they accept or advocate
the use of two- and/or three-dimensional objects to symbolize or embody the divine.
Some traditions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Orthodox and Catholic
Christianity, see the use of such images as central to their theologies and rituals. In
these traditions images can serve three functions. They can be understood to be
representations or likenesses of deities, symbols of deities, or the deities themselves.
Other traditions, such as some schools of Islam, Judaism, and Reformed Protestant
Christianity, are iconoclastic or otherwise oppose the use of images. But for the last
few decades the sacredness of the image has passed through many avatars due to
the new paradigms of thinking. Among those imposed by the postmodernity are:
the denial of metaphysics and radicalization of hermeneutics; deconstructivism, viz.
all that was built by man (or God) can be deconstructed; there is no objective truth,
because what we call objective truth is merely fiction; there is no absolutes,
everything is relative, in all levels, from knowledge to moral and culture.
Contemporary civilization, regarded as marking the end of Gutenberg Galaxy
and so of the conceptual abstraction, enjoys the ubiquity of images of the universe,
manufactured, distributed and reproduced through a variety of means, and
covering a very broad spectrum of human activities. Rehabilitation of images power
carried by denouncing the exorbitant authority of reason gave birth to fear of the
artifact, of the hyper-reality or simulacrum. The image has slipped from ambition to
have access to a reality that must not in so much represent it as to manifest it , to
insert it effectively in the visible world , to the ambition to seize the reality by
promoting a system of signs that functions virtually empty and that refers to nothing
else but to itself, that is to a logic of nonsense.
Alexandru-Corneliu ARION,
Faculty of Orthodox theologyTheology, Trgoviste University

31. Rationality of Creation in Fathers Dumitru Stniloae Theology

For Father Stniloae Orthodox teaching about creation of the world by divine Logos,
Supreme Reason, points out that all creation is based on a logical order, on
rationality, which is the very intimate structure of creation. Thus, creation is not
autonomous, but theonomous. Rationality of the world has its basis or foundation
in the eternal Reasons of the Logos, the world itself is a plasticized rationality. The
world, being created by Word by word, and man is the image of the Word, result
that the world is the way or middle of dialogue between man and the Word.
Pondering and knowing the world and himself in its rationality, the man comes to
know the Son, or otherwise he knows himself and the world through the Son and

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through this reach to the Father, because he is conformed to "the image" of the Image
of the Father; and everything is done through the Holy Spirit. Advancing in the
knowledge of world rationality, of meanings that the Word has placed in it, the man
use the materiality of the world according to the worlds reason on the one hand,
and on the other hand he enhances and enriches himself spiritually by discovering
deeper meaning of human existence.
Roger-Cristian SAFTA,
Faculty of Theology, Letter, History and Arts, University of Piteti

32. The Image of Fear. Heal in Iconography

of the Romanian Orthodox Medieval Churches

On the western wall of many churches in Romania, especially in the region of

Moldavia and Wallachia, at the entry into the liturgical space, the enti re right wall
is depicted with the Last judgment a frightening scene - iconographic composition
meant to warn the sinners about the dreadfullnes of the Hell and about the
punishment awaiting them. The fire doomsday sinners are tormented by demons
driven into the mouth of Leviathan. Being caught in the apocalyptic fire, the sinners
are tormented by demons who drive them into the mouth of Leviathan.
This scene made history throughout Europe of dying Middle Age, afflicted by
diseases and plagues, by the fratricidal wars and confessional confrontations, a time
where stories and apocryphal literature carried out by the monastic environments
describes in so many details all sorts of upcoming punishments, expecting an
improvement of moral society. Fear was meant to be the new teacher of the Gospel
of Christ.
The study seeks to investigate the roots of this imagology of fear supposed to emerge
from the monastic circles, raised in the upper levels of the Church. Some frightening
stories, invented for an excusable and a noble goal - the conversion of sinners but
also in the quasi-official literature such as so often published sermon(s) for the
Sunday of frightening Judgement.
Dumitru A. VANCA,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

33. Music between Light and Darkness

Used originally for the glory of the God, the music became, in time, a weapon of
destruction, used by people inspired by the devil, which calls by the text, rhythm
and melody, to violence, hate, brutality, apostasy and renouncement of everything
which means morality and holiness.
Everything began after the angels fall, who knowing the power of music, like those
who sang formerly in the heaven choir, inspired the mind of the man, created further
from the earth, to use rhythms and texts urging to the libertinism and "liberation" of
Christian morality rules in order to take revenge on That Who threw them from the
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heaven in darkness. Such genre of music is practiced mostly in dark places, at night,
usually in places and especially at weekends, starting Friday afternoon, when Christ
is nailed to the cross in the agony of death, to save us from darkness and perdition.
It is practiced, however, and on other days of the week, in open spaces, in large halls
or stadiums, where millions of people, mostly young people, create their idols from
the singers produced on the scene, replacing in an exaggerated way, the love for the
Creator image with that of the creation, since no one is allowed to love anything that
are made, more than God, if he wants to be worthy of His glory.
Costel-Mirel I. V. NECHITA,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

34. Mirroring the face of Christ

The mystery of the Face of Christ was a religious, anthropological, theological and
political stake in the first eight Christian centuries and presents secularised echoes
until our times (see the anti-icon fight of many humanist leaders and the elimination
of the icons from the public space).
The present study intends to highlight the fact that, in the Byzantine Empire, the
Christians became confessors and martyrs of the image of Christ, refusing political
interference of the basileus in the doctrine of the Churche. The political byzantine
iconoclasm returned to the constantinian image of Christ only as the symbol of the
Cross, a presence through representative. That's followed an imminent conclusion:
the apparent conflict between image and sign and between icon and cross was in
fact the desire of the iconomach emperors to substitute the image of Christ by their
ones images (As Grabar observed in the byzantine coins).
The 7th Ecumenical Council, St. Theodore the Studite and the patriarch Nicephorus
proved and established that the icon is part of the apostolic Tradition and of the
universal. They affirm and re-actualise the Incarnation as mystery and revelation
and the deification of the man in Christ. The Holy Fathers indicates that seeing the
Face of Christ is possible only in the light of the Holy Ghost and the deification of
the human being show this on their own face.
In conclusion, the mystical experience is always and every time an iconographic
experience: the mystery of the human Face of Christ is mirrored in the mystery of
the deifficated persons - the saints.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

35. Prototype and Image in St. Maximus the Confessors Thinking

and Its Actuality

St. Maximus Work is grounded by Chalcedonian doctrine in christological line, and

by a sinthesis between neoplatonic philosophical terms and a Revelation contents in
antropological views. Also St. Maximus has a propoer originality because he
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anticipated next great thematic controversy: the iconoclasm. Through many
refferences on God like Archetyp and Its Image, in fact Man, he describes the found
of intelligible Icon, videlicet man as alive icon of the Words Person. But this
anticipation will be constituted as a method in theological gnoseology, specifically
to eastern orthodox area, because it supposes the power of symbolic way of
knowledge. From this, we show that the link between Prototype and Image can be
expressed like the link between Symbol and its symbolized reality. In St. Maximus
Work, we see all beings and facts in the light of this theory, such that all reality of
creatural pleroma is founded on imagistic correlation, and from symbolistic
meaning. In antropology, this question is called similarity between God and man;
and this is a consacrated concept in itself. That fact has a current relevancy because
modern theories of knowledge can not develope an wortly mode of correspondence
between consciousness subjective world and phenomenal objective world. That
cannot explicate if consciousness reflect reality in its genuine, but iconic knowledge
can unravel this.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Universitatea Bucureti, FTO

36. The Issue of the Written and the Iconic Signifier

in the Theology of Theodor Ab Qurrah

The Orthodox apologetics during the 8th and 9th century, against those rejecting the
cult of the holy icons, Christian iconomachs or Muslims, Jewish or other religions,
was dominated by the iconology of Saint John of Damascus, Saint Theodor the
Studite and Saint Nicephorus the Confessor. Theodor Ab Qurrah was among the
first Orthodox theologians preoccupied by the problem of the icons. He was an
apprentice of Saint John of Damascus and the first Orthodox theologian who wrote
in Arabian. Living in the space of the Near and Middle East, born in Edessa,
ordained as bishop in Harran and with the experience of travelling from Armenia to
Egypt, Qurrah had to protect the cult of the holy icons in front of a small Christian
community (Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian) and against a huge attack from
the Muslim theologians. Although his Treatise on the Veneration of the Holy Icons,
follows and reproduces the argumentation of Saint John of Damascus, there are
remarked some original ideas, too. One of the five sets of arguments specific to his
Treatise refers to the relation between the written representation of the theology
(Torah, Gospels, Koran) and its iconic representation (the Christian icons). In the
same time, the author develops the problem of the signifiers in the Islamic and Judaic
cults for the cognition of the signified. We appreciate as relevant to us to nuance
some comparative aspects between Christianity and Islamism, even this theological
aspect of the iconology was discussed in dedicated writings. The icon as Gospel was
much discussed, but our intention is to discuss the Gospel as icon. We find as
opportune this approach in the contemporary context when the two Abrahamic
religions, especially the Islam, which may easily be accused of Scripture veneration,

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due to an extrapolation of their ichonomachs arguments of their appreciation of the
Quran. Moreover, we launch the question if there is any connection between the
Islamic iconoclastic and Bible venerating attitude and the Protestant one.
Oliviu-Petru BOTOI,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

37. Piteti. The Decomposing of the Soul by Re-education

By this study we want to put forward the real aim of the gruesome process of re-
education for the internee Romanian students who were kept in the Piteti prison.
That aim was the destruction of their soul in order to transform the human being
into a bereft of liberty machine, going all lengths upon request of the communism
agents, brought into Romania by the force of soviet tanks. That diabolic process was
conceived as a beyond redress deformation of human mind and soul, performed by
means of starving, by indescribable abasements, by bodily and spiritually tortures.
In the end of this, the victim was going to depreciate all his previous convictions, his
family and his education. After all the tortures, each student supposed to become a
new man, in fact a yes-man, reborn in fear and terror. But this plan of communist
authorities failed and the abnormity of this mechanism of spiritual destruction was
abolished. The result of this process was that Romanian people and Romanian
Orthodox Church acquired new martyrs whose experiences must be known by the
new generations.
The Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Piteti

38. Avenge us not! Forgiveness and the Love of Enemies

in the communist Prisons of Romania

The 20th century was certainly the bloodiest century in all human history, witnessing
more suffering, death, martyrdom and genocide than any other century before it.
The suffering was intense and took many forms. My paper will attempt to present
one aspect of this suffering, as it manifested itself in the communist prisons of
Romania: the forgiveness and love of enemies, which in my view is characteristic of
the martyrdom in the communist prisons, defining and proving its Christian
The main idea underlining the paper will be that forgiving the enemies was one of
the most important means of transfiguring the unjust suffering and of healing the
psychological traumas left by the savage experience of detention. Another point I
am trying to make is that in their approach, the new martyrs followed sometimes
explicitly, but more often implicitly the teachings of the Gospel and of the Holy
Fathers regarding forgiveness and love for ones enemies. Therefore, the method
used will be that of continuously confronting and comparing different concrete
examples from detention (taken either from memoirs or from personal interviews)
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with texts from Patristic literature.
A central figure in this Christian attitude towards suffering was played by Valeriu
Gafencu and his group of mystics from Aiud, whose influence will be analyzed in
the paper. Other themes discussed will be the forgiving of the former judges and
prosecutors, the conversion of the torturers through forgiveness and love shown by
the martyrs, the gratitude towards the prosecutors, the love for enemies as a gift of
the Holy Grace, but also as a consequence of human struggle, prayer for the enemies
as a means of acquiring love, but also as an expression of it, forgetting the suffered
wrongs etc.
Grigorie BENEA,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

39. Resistance through Faith inside the Romanian Gulag.

Case Study: the Aiud Re-education

Communism represented, first and foremost, the apology of crime as a political

instrument. Aiming to eliminate the main obstacle towards creating the New man -
faith in God, seen as a vehicle of identity - the communist regimes also proposed a
deicide, apart from the genocide against their political opponents.
The complete establishment of communism in 1948 also meant turning Romania into
an immense Gulag. For a significant part of those imprisoned, the suffering of
detention provided the frame for an identitary repositioning. Faced with torture, cold,
and hunger the political dimension diminishes and the spiritual values are
emphasized. Solidarity, resistance, sacrifice, spirituality, and reflection are privileged
at the expense of political struggle, combativity, and radicalism.
The study aims to investigate a relevant episode of spiritual resistance in the Romanian
Gulag, namely the late re-education in the prison of Aiud, during 1959-1964. The re-
education had as immediate purposes the dissociation of the imprisoned from their
political past as well as their acceptance of the new political realities. However, through
the re-education the regime also pursued the complete annihilation of faith as a
fundament for the prisoners resistance.
The research hypothesis is that in the context of detention, some of the prisoners
(re)discovered Christ and reordered their spiritual preoccupations. Thus, prayers
(both personal and collective), liturgical life, and spiritual efforts turned the prison cell
into a monastery cell, united the prisoners in front of the pressures of the prison
administration and created the fundament of resistance through faith against the
repressive measures of the administration.
The analysis will be structured on two levels: a) how the regime created and imposed
the re-education: purposes, methods, results and b) the spiritual resistance of the
prisoners: personalities, forms of manifestation, impact.
Using documentary sources (file of the former Securitate) and memoirs and literature,
the research gains an interdisciplinary dimension, appealing to a diverse
methodology: semantic analysis, narrative reconstitution as well as qualitative and

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quantitative evaluation.
Drago Ursu,
Faculty of History and Philosophy, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

40. Iconic Typos of Holy Saturday

The Wealth of Holy Saturday liturgy is reflected in iconography too. Since the early
Christian centuries, the events of the last days of Christ's Passion Week, which
begins with Vespers of Great Friday evening and ends at the beginning of the
Resurrection Matins Saturday night, were fixed into two icons: Burial and Descent to
Hell. From these two prototypes derived, over time, other icons that recall events
that occurred either before or immediately after it, but which are into the perimeter
of Holy Saturday too. In the study that follows, well present the history, description
and liturgical functionality of each item of iconography.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

41. The Decree 410/1959 from adoption to application

When talking about the offensive of the communist authorities against the orthodox
monarchism from the end of the 50s of the last century, frequently both memoirists
of the Romanian religious field and researchers in the communist archives are
referring to the adoption and application of the Decree 410/1959. However, a careful
analysis of the events preceding the adoption of this legislative measure by the Chair
of the National Assembly at 28 October 1959, offers us a clue about the proceeding
of the communist authorities regarding the procrustean decrease of the monastic
phenomenon, at least one year and a half before the adoption of the decree. The way
this decree was implemented in each diocese of the Romanian Orthodox Church is
another part of the subject we want to develop in the light of the former Communist
Secret Police archives, the former Worship Department files and the confessional
Adrian Nicolae PETCU,
The National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives

42. The Nun Teodosia Latcu

about the Restauration of the Image of God in the Human

The nun Teodosia (Zorica) Lacu is the most important Christian poet of Romania.
She first studied classical languages and her first poems were inspired by Greco-
roman literature. Later, she moved closer to Christianity, entering monasticism in
1948 at the Vladimireti Monastery from Galati County. The poetry of Teodosia
Lacu transforms itself as well, becoming Christian poetry, mystical and very

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consistent from a theological perspective. In it we find themes such as the action of
God in the human or the mysticism of love the way in which the soul becomes
one with God.
Arrested in 1955, in the contexts of the repressive actions taken by the Securitate
against Vladimireti Monastery, the nun Teodosia Lacu endured much suffering in
the communist prisons. Her arrest had as its main reason her role as the ideologue
in everything that was represented by the Vladimireti phenomenon, which
debated in an uncompromising manner the actions that tried to eliminate belief from
the consciousness of the people.
This study tries to present the main events from the life of the nun Teodosia (with a
particular focus on the period of detention) and the way in which the nun Teodosia
saw communism, as the disintegration of the human being and proposed the
solution of belief and confession as the only rescue in a century full of confusion.
George ENACHE,
Faculty of History, Philosophy, and Theology, Dunrea de Jos University of Galati

43. The subversive mystics: The Burning Bush Group during the

Communism brought a general prohibition of all religious associations (both

associations of priests and of lay men and women disappeared). One of these was
the Burning Bush of the Mother of God group/movement at the monastery of
Antim (1945-1948).
The members of the group kept their spiritual ties and their friendship and
continued to meet in different forms during the 1950s as well. After Sandu Tudor,
the leader of the group (former journalist and poet, also known as hieroschemamonk
Daniel since 1953) was released from political detention, the old friends gathered,
sometimes in small number, other times with the participation of a younger
audience (students from different faculties). They continued their Christian mystic
preoccupations, prayed together, read their literary creations and worriedly
observed the consequences of communist ideology on the Christian faith.
Their meetings entered the attention of the Securitate and were labelled as
subversive activity; with the help of informants and operative technique, the
repressive institutions zealously followed the lives of these people. All the
information resulted transformed into evidence of counter-revolutionary activity
at the 1958 trial of the Burning Bush Organization.
Our research proposes to to explore the nature of the meetings and the activity of
this Christian mystic circle in the 1950s, by putting forward some documentary
excerpts from the informative tracking file of the Burning Bush group members.
Ioana-Zoia URSU,
Faculty of History and Philosophy, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

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44. The Avatars of the Word in Postmodern Poetic Discourse

Poetry is the freest of the the arts, because it is the least related to a material support.
In an era in which arts are increasingly subservient to technology, poetry remains
the art that is the least subject to industrialization. Being the least dependent on
technology, poetry is the most direct art, the art that reflects most faithfully the
aspirations of the creator's ego. Therefore, poetry is, at least since modernity, the first
of the arts that reflects the creative spirits trends of a particular period. Progressive
industrialization of society has deepened this feature. Thus, poetry is the first of the
arts that most directly reflects "the avatars of the image", specific to the postmodern
The study explores the changing of the poetic paradigm in Romania in the second
half of the twentieth century, and thus the paradigm shift regarding the social
responsibility of the poet. However, this paradigm shift has not cancelled the
classical poetic paradigm, but has just put it into the shade. From this shade, the
classic paradigm of the creator ego launches challenges to postmodern paradigm, as
in an invisible war led on the territory of arts.
This invisible war concerns us in this study. Operating a few brief comments on
some trends in Romanian poetry, from the postwar period to the present, from the
fracturiste movement to religious and mystical poetry, we try to detect the
anthropological creative model that underpins them.
For the creative act is determined, beyond the factual material and the ideas of an
epoch, by the relationship of the creative ego with his self, his fellowmen and with
God. Ultimately, poetic creation highlights the relationship of the creative ego with
the Divine Logos: a relationship either of dialogue, either corrupted by the
isolationist or even sacrilegious monologue of the artist.
Lumina Romanian Orthodox Patriarchates Newspaper

45. The Bread of the Lords Face. The Eucharistic Mandylion

of the Noetic Ark in Alba Iulia
and the liturgical memory of the Holy Face

The icon is a noetic art, a visual sacrament, a call for the communion of the eyes. This
is the truth that the Church of Saints John (the Baptist, the Theologian and
Chrysostom) and of Saints Brancoveanu the Martyrs tries to impersonate. This
church, called the Noetic Ark in Alba Iulia, is one of the most audacious and creative
plastic approaches of the architectural and iconographic tradition in contemporary
Orthodoxy. The primary relations between the different stages of the plastical
metaphorization in the process of making the church suggest a paschal passage from
Arche-Type to Arche-Image and Arche-Text, that is, the three Incarnations of the
Logos: in creation, in Christ and in the Scripture. The great volume of text which
accompanies the iconographic display suggests a liturgical memory, a spatial and

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temporal resonance. Both inside and outside, the iconological syntax is limited to a
eucharistic mandylion, placed centrally as a hermeneutical key of the entire
discourse. Between the two apses, just like two thematic poles or ends of a papyrus
scroll, expands the rotulus of the Kingdom, the message of the new heaven, the
Arche-Image and the Arche-Text. The lack of strict graphic delimitations suggests
an iconic unity and a participation of the signs to the same mysterious reality, a
recapitulation in Christ of the signs and symbols, between and .
The iconic central seal is represented by the mega-icon of the mandylion above the
entrance, which presents a theological, Taboric and eschatological concentration or
focalization on the Lords Face and on the image of the entrance of the faithful in
heaven, in procession, together with the angels, idea expressed explicitly through
the text rendered above it, taken from the prayer of the Little Entrance. The radiant
face of the Lord contrasts with the white of the exterior walls, investing the church
with the function of wrapping the mystery. The Lords Face is the image of the
Church and the representation on the concave entrance facade is also connected to a
corporal metaphor related to the freshness of the postmodern architectural idea of
face-houses and to the one of personalising the building. The facade does not
represent an ideological extroversion, but an engagement of the doxological and
eucharistic experience inside, to which it tries to convert the state of the person
entering the place, recovering programmatically the eschatological dimension of the
The building was thought in the sense of an archetypal simplicity and of reducing
to an iconographic essence the strong signs included in the core of some liturgical
texts chosen from the consecration service: the Lords Face (the facade), the
triumphant Lamb (the altar) and the cherubims of the tabernacle (laterally). Above
the entrance door and below the mega-scene of the Dormition of the Theotokos is
represented the liturgical conjunction of the days of 15 and 16 of August, through
the Brancoveanu martyrical mandylion, which comprises the iconographic expression
of twinning the face of the martyrs with the Face of Christ, the Martyr of the martyrs.
The procession of the Churchs martyrs between Saints Christophorus and Ignatius
Theophorus develops in advance a genuine eucharistic theology of martyrdom,
rendering visually the concept of eucharistic matrix of the Church. The
representation of the communion of Saint Mary the Egyptian in this context
represents an urge to take the communion for every believer who participates
actively to the liturgical life, so as to acquire the true Face of Christ.
The present study aims at constituting a contextual presentation of the mystery of the
Lords Face, in the liturgical memory of the Church, starting from the concrete example
of the eucharistic mandylion in Alba Iulia, which concentrates an innovator iconological
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

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46. Icons and Christian Ethics

Historically, Christians have used icons images that depict saints and Christian
feasts in private and corporate prayer. This essay examines the role of icons in
transmitting Christian moral knowledge. Rather than merely drawing individuals
to God, I argue that many icons deliver important messages. They communicate
Christian moral knowledge, that is, knowledge of Gods commands. I begin by
describing the term Christian moral knowledge and identifying the ways such
knowledge typically is acquired. These mechanisms include direct instruction
through sermons and religious writings as well as participation in religious rituals.
Icons are a third mechanism for delivery of Christian moral knowledge and have
been so since the very early days of the Christian Church. In particular, I examine
the role of icons in communicating knowledge of Christian bioethics, that is, of Gods
commands with respect to issues such as abortion, end of life care, physician assisted
death, and euthanasia.
Department of Philosophy, Wake Forest University

47. The Iconography of cumenical Councils

and the Byzantine (New Roman) Political Philosophy

The Byzantine Church is the realm where Christian and Roman universality have
met. According to the political philosophy of the Byzantine empire the role of the
Emperor is to express the visible unity of a specific two-dimensional (spiritual-
political) structure of social life. The Iconography of the Ecumenical councils is an
illustration of this role the emperor according Byzantine political philosophy, In the
same time the iconographic composition is a replica of the Icon of the Pentacost as a
direct indication of the role of the Holy Spirit in the council. The text analyzes some
historical facts and their reflection on the iconography of the Ecumenical councils,
In the same time there are references to the nowadays theology and practice of
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, St. Cyril and Methodius University, Veliko Tarnovo

48. Iconography between Theology and Politology.

The Icon as a Visual Expression of the Incarnation of Christ,
and as a Process Viewed in its Articulation with the Byzantine Polical

Its reflection in historiography testifies to the researchers concern with the role and
functions of sacred art, particularly of the icon, in the Church an art which has
decisively marked the evolution of the Church. The eighth century, through the

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Seventh Ecumenical Council, was the highlight of this process.
On the other hand, this is when the attitude of Christianity to iconographic art was
defined by the contributions of important theologians: Saint John of Damascus, Saint
Germanus of Constantinople, Saint Nicephorus the Confessor, Saint Theodore of
Studium. At the same time, by confirming a dogmatic aspect of the icon, the Church
was defending its own nature and identity against the imperial institution, which
had entered a process of absorbtion regarding the ecclesial institution.Therefore, the
issue was far more complicated, more vast and profound.
The support that she provided to the cult of the icons amounted to the independence
of the Church from the utilitarian theocracy of the Byzantine Empire. My aim in this
paper is to identify the stages of this double effort: on the one hand, the process of
establishing the role of the icon in the dogmatic conscience of the Church, and on the
other hand, the articulation of this dogmatic process as an expression of the
independence of the Church in her relationship to Byzantine politology.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

49. The liturgical dimension of the Byzantine icon

in the economy of salvation

Abstract: Liturgical art, to the extent to which it remains tied to liturgical worship, can be
assessed both as: beauty coming from the first beauty and mystery, does not hide but
reveals. The purpose of the Holy Icons in addition to the confession of the church
dogmas, along with the mystical experience is undoubtedly the call or standing
invitation to prayer. For the Orthodox Church, the Icon is an expression of righteous
confession of faith and an integral part of the liturgical space, videlicet of the Church and
an essential element in the actual act of prayer. The icon is neither an absolute, nor an
annex, but a continuous and complete expression of faith and proclamation of the divine
economy. For that reason, the life in Christ, whom we worship in the icons is not a utopia,
but a reality and therefore icons of the saints do not have a decorative role in the Church,
but they express the conviction that holiness is within the reach of all men. Liturgy,
together with the entire Orthodox liturgical ensemble, and liturgical art are two values
that, within celebrating worship, make up a unique reality. Their very close connection
is revealed by the fact that while the former is trying to discover the spiritual world, the
latter depicts this spiritual world in colours and shapes accessible to all. We can say that
the very structure of the Church is directly determined by the Holy Liturgy, but the Holy
Liturgy also determines the iconographic apparatus: the frescos and the icons are directly
involved in liturgical performance, beyond any decorative and aesthetic function. And,
from this point of view, the Byzantine icon may be called a theological synopsis and a
theology in images.
Faculty of History, Philosophy, and Theology, Dunrea de Jos University of Galati

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50. The View of the Church in the Theology of Martin Luther
from an orthodox perspective

Our paper will eneavour to represent the most significant statements of Martin Luther
about church in the light of orthodox ecclesiology. Therefore, we started from the
premision of the power of christian faith which rejects half-truth and superstition. That is
opposed by the relativation of truth in modern consciousness, how it is expressed
especially in a pluralistic conception of religion. Thereby we skipped the religious
studies problem, in which way religions correlate and which is the place of christianity
in this context. We debate the pluralistic, relativizing conception of truth with the concept
of God in christian church and develop from here the essentials of Martin Luthers
teachings about Church, as it is formulated in his writings Von den Konzilien und
Kirchen (1539), Wider Hans Worst (1541), Vom Papsttum zu Rom wider den
hochberhmten Romanisten zu Leipzig (1520), in his fasting sermons (Invocavit, 9.-16.
March 1522) as well as in his famous sermon at the inauguration of the castle church in
Torgau (5. Octomber 1544). Our atention is focused on the distinction between the seen
and unseen church, on Luthers statements to picture respectivly to iconografic theology
and on their impact of shaping church room. The second part puts the results in the light
of orthodox tradition and in this way, reaches to a deeper understanding oft he Church.
Wolfgang WNSCH
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

51. Valeriu Gafencu paradigm of assuming the prison

as time and space of sanctification

Valeriu Gafencu, rightly called the "saint of prisons", is an iconic image of the prisoner to
whom the prison has become a path to sanctity. Arrested and sentenced to 25 years in
prison when he was only 20 years old, 11 years later, at 18.02.1952, after a heavy suffering
caused by tuberculosis, Valeriu, reaching the measures of holiness, gave his soul into the
hands of the Lord in an atmosphere of great grace, felt by all those present. The prison
had helped him to overcome the moralistic understanding of Christian life that he had
before and to begin to live a spiritual life. This is happened after he came to see, through
the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the sin deep-rooted in his heart and he started to feel
himself responsible for all the sins of the humanity. Paradoxically, this knowledge of sin
does not throw him in despondency but makes him to live in the highest degree the
blessing of experience God's love and care and helps him to reach holiness, as confess all
that who knew him.
The study, based on letters sent by Valeriu Gafencu from jail and the testimonials of those
who knew him, aims to follow his way from morality to spiritual life and holiness by
assuming the prison as time and space of salvation.
St. Simion tefan Orthodox Theological Seminary in Alba Iulia

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52. The antithesis between the Icon -as the illustration of human
transfiguration- and the post modern idols

The Edenic nostalgia has always remained in the soul of the fallen man. Because of
this, the human being, which had retained the imagine of the grace of Divinity, has
always aspired to rediscover this in himself. The reinstatement of the theandric
community was accomplished by the incarnation of the Saviour, which abolished
the Old Testament ban regarding the representation of sacred realities. On this basis,
the human being perceived the need to represent in icons both God and the saints.
If God is the personification of the Absolute, the saints are illustrations of human
nature transfigured by pneumaticity. Therefore, the icon reveals itself to the believer
as a permanent, eternal standard of morality, challenging him to gain the grace of
God similarly to the saint or saints represented in the icon. Therefore, the icon is a
viable alternative in the face of all the idols of the ephemeral world. Starting from
Antiquity to the present time, the human being has made various gods. They were
considered illustrations of the Supreme power, whereas today they are substituted
for pseudo-models and the realities of world, which consume the attention and time
of the person.
Dorina Gabriela MURESAN
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

53. A brilliant and attractive civilization: Hellenism

The impact between Judaism and paganism

In the middle of the 4th century BC, an exceptional character appeared on the stage
of universal history. In a relatively short period, he changed the Middle East
completely, as an excellent strategist and a fearless army leader, who remained in
history with the name . The rapid spread of Greek culture,
which was made possible by the conquests of Alexander the Great, constituted the
beginning of a particular period of the history of the Ancient East, known as
The clash between Judaism and paganism entered a new stage: the Hebrews had
to decide between closing themselves in the prescriptions of the Law of Moses,
which would have meant rejecting this brilliant and attractive civilization, or
opening towards it, but without abandoning the genuine faith in the God of
Abraham, of Jacob/Israel and Moses, however facing the risk of being assimilated
in time.
In the Hellenistic epoch, Greek language became the official language of all the
citizens, schools (gymnasiums) and institutions of physical education were
established everywhere, commerce flourished and through it, economic progress.
Physical and intellectual education, philosophy and sciences especially
mathematics and physics brought new and important names in the history of
humanity. Nevertheless, it was obvious that such a complex mosaic structure

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could not assure the empire created by Alexander and its successors a lasting
unity. This it is the beginning at the scale of the world known then of a vast
process of globalization, through the fusion East-West, the West meaning Greece,
which offered the world then the standards of civilization and culture, and the
East, the rest of the world, which had to adopt these.
This study aims at analyzing and presenting the reaction and attitude of Gods
people to the new trend occurred in the Greek culture and religion, as it is
presented in the Books of the Maccabees.
Alexandru MOLDOVAN,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

54. Challenges of Darkness: The Image of Christ

as the least of His brethren and the Idol of Social Justice

Long ago, misguided Christian iconoclasts, claiming to oppose an idolatrous

worship of images, spurred St. John Damascene into clarifying the meaning of icon
veneration. Today, misguided Christians idolatrous worship of social justice
prompts us to recall how St. John Chrysostom clarified the image of Christ in the
judgment prophecy of Mt. 25: 31-46.
Pavel Florensky recognized not only visible, but also discursive images as a
medium linking the visible with the invisible (or, as St. Justin of Celje might clarify,
the visible with the visible-invisible of God-man-hood). Just as icons do not merely
refer to the person depicted, so Christs parables is not reducible to a moral
take-home message. Icons invite their beholders into a personal encounter.
Similarly, the Word invites His audience onto the Way which He identifies as
Himself (Jn. 14:6): Christs own account of parable-teaching (Mk. 4:1-12), after all,
discloses the darkness of its images as a hurdle, designed to separate His followers
from those who reject Him: Only the first will take an effort to ask, thus entering
into the deifying Divine-human synergy. Applying this lesson to the image
presented by Mt. 25 (31-46) reveals that only Christs followers will notice the
challenge implied in His depicting Himself as the least of His brethren. Only by
asking for clarification from Christ Himself can they realize the immense
deficiency of secular, pluralist, politically implemented charity.
Iconoclasm, in opposing an inappropriately materialist idolatry of the visible,
fell for an equally inappropriate limitation to the invisible. Conversely, the
Christian focus on social justice, in opposing the inappropriate limitation to the
invisible of merely quietist religious internality, falls for an equally inappropriate
focus on visible needs satisfaction.. Just as with icon-worship, so with scripture
exegesis, Truth resides in the transforming encounter with the God-man Himself.
International Studies in Philosophy and Medicine, Freigericht, Germany

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55. The Relationship between Icons and Education in a Postmodern
Society: How Teenagers Relate to the Presence of the Icon
inside Schools and Other Public Places

The Relationship between Icons and Education in a Postmodern Society: How

Teenagers Relate to the Presence of the Icon inside Schools and Other Public Places.
After the fall of the Communist regime, one of the new political systems educational
policies was the reinstatement of Religion Education among the subjects taught in
the Romanian public schools. This process was followed by the admittance of icons
inside schools. Due to the fact, numerous other researches point out that the icon
represents a significant formative factor in Romania, our research is intended to
highlight some differences in how the icon is perceived as a means of education
inside and outside schools according to the students age. The main part of the
interviewed students who were in their early teens perceived the icon as a way of
worshiping God whereas a change was noted in the way in which the students who
were in their late teens perceive it and who felt the need to interiorize faith more.
Another aspect that has been tackled by this research concerns the formative value
that icons have in non-religious publications. Because of the inefficiency of an
educational programme in schools and churches which should have underlined the
educational value of the icon during the childrens different stages of development,
our research stresses the reality of the danger of the icons desecration to the extent
to which these are ignored in personal spaces or they are even thrown away together
with the publications in which they had been printed
Dorin OPRI
Teacher Training Department, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia,

Monica OPRI
St. Simion tefan Orthodox Theological Seminary

56. The iconic Character of theological Language.

The Philosophy of Jean-Luc Marion and the 7th ecumenical Council

In this paper, I will give a short analysis and a critique of the contemporary
philosopher Jean-Luc Marion's (b. 1946) interpretation of the 7th ecumenical council.
Throughout his writings, Marion addresses the iconic theology of the Orthodox
church in order to approach a phenomenological (and post-modern) concept of God,
a 'God without being', not bound to the limitations of the ontological difference
between Being and beings that characterizes modern metaphysics. Marion admires
Heidegger for the onto-theological critique of western philosophy, and on this
background, Marion's claim is that iconic theology is able to surpass the dichotomy
of kataphatic and apophatic theological discourse. In Marion's view, the way to
annul the procedure of either affirmation or negation in theological language is to
use and understand language pragmatically. In this manner, he intends to propose
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a theology that does not idolize God as being, and thereby open a third way of
theological discourse. To be precise, the theology of the icon is not limited to images
alone, but also involves an iconic use of language, that is a language that does not
invoke an inherent reference between being and God. Additionally, the pragmatic
use of language involves the idea of 'deconstruction', the opinion that the meaning
of language is arbitrary, and due to different context of use. A proper critic of Marion
will be that his concept of 'God without being', is still located inside the ontological
difference of Being and non-being, and that he in this way does not follow his own
interpretation of the iconic theology of the 7th ecumenical council.
Johannes SOLBERG,
Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo

57. Time and Eternity in the Theology of Icon

The aim of the paper is to elucidate the role of time and eternity in the theology of icons,
by focusing on the artistic language of Orthodox iconography. The Orthodox
iconography has developed the specific artistic language in order to express very
complex theological and metaphysical issues such as the relationship between time and
eternity. This symbolic language by using exclusively artistic elements such as light,
colours and perspective finds the appropriate way to visually articulate specific dogmatic
themes that link historical with eschatological realm. The light is essential element of the
icon, because the light is identified with the uncreated energies of God that constitutes
the future reality. While light gives this eternal perspective to the saints and events, the
sketches made according to eikonismos preserve the likeness of the depicted image with
the saint. Colours symbolically represent the diapason from being as a divine gift
conferred to every creature at the creation to the eternal well being as gift of God
conferred to the holy people and angels at the end of time. The combination of inverse,
central and axonometric perspective scales persons and objects according to geometry of
value and position, rather than to a spatial geometry. The divine eternity causes the lack
of spatial and temporal distance between persons and objects and their position and
value depends on the relation with God. By the combination of different perspectives
icon accommodates within its spaces both mirror and window images that create
dynamic by which the person chooses the way into participation with or within the icon.
Faculty of Theology, University of Aarhus, Denmark

58. Seeing is listening.

On the Missing Piece of the Postmodern Jigsaw Puzzle

In the last decade, neuroscientists have shown that a persons senses can meld
together, so that a synesthete might hear colours or taste shapes. In their
research experiments on a peculiar neurological condition known as synaesthesia,
Melissa Saenz and Christof Koch from the California Institute of Technology
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confirmed that sight is characterised by sound too. This is highly interesting and
fascinating for not only its positive consequences in the medical world, but equally for
the rational way of seeing and understanding reality or what conditions human beings
today. In a similar vein, the postmodern construction (or understanding) of the
(human) image does not simply depend on its being visual. There is more than the
postmodern eyes can see and evidently, the postmodern jigsaw puzzle might have a
missing piece that makes it whole and meaningful and that cannot be ignored.
This paper shall proceed in three steps. First, there is a contextualisation. The image
or rather the vision of the postmodern jigsaw puzzle has certainly changed with
time. Sociologists and Theologians speak of false horizons that can be considered in
terms of a pseudo-humanism. A thorough analysis of the human reality as perceived
through postmodernity reveals that the image falls short of being a coherent whole.
On the contrary, through existential and cultural challenges, the image (in terms of the
human reality) has been described to be fragmented due to pluralism, individualism
and relativism above all.
Secondly, there follows a proposition. This study suggests a return to the primary basis
of the human existence. Instead of speaking of a restoration to an image of Glory,
here follows a proposition to consider the image not simply in terms of the intellectual
dimension, but rather from an open existential dimension. Instead of starting from the
Cartesian maxim saying I think, therefore I am, one should perhaps proceed from I
listen, perhaps the Other is. Attention is here placed on the sense of hearing in as
much as different from the other four senses it cannot be fully controlled. It is
always receptive, filled, volens nolens, with external noises and words. In this sense, a
profound listening becomes meaningful and insightful, just as the sense of seeing is.
Hence, listening becomes seeing.
Thirdly, there is also an emphasis on interiorisation. This research seeks to underline the
practical and existential dimension of the missing piece of the human jigsaw puzzle. It
implies both a transcendental and affective aspect. The image is meaningful in as much
as it connects with its transcendental dimension as well as by being surprised by
(Gods) love. The key to understand and fully master the postmodern jigsaw puzzle is
then nothings else than transcendental openness that happens through listening i.e.
personal readiness. Affectivity, perhaps more than rationality or the lack of it (as
characterised by postmodernity) emerges as the determining piece that makes the
human jigsaw puzzle once again whole, beautiful and meaningful.
Faculty of Theology, University of Malta

59. The Atheist Regime of Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia:

Servants and Icons

The Prut-Dniester space gave rise to such personalities of the Church, who opposed
to the Soviet regime. Many zealous and faithful servants had suffered for the faith.
Some were killed, others deported, some others marginalized and disregarded. The

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dossiers of those who were convicted we often meet only one accusation: "Believes
in God."
Along with God's people, the atheist struggle was directed against worship places
and all church property. There are analyzed the reports of commissioners on issues
of religion, of which we discern the state policy directed against the Orthodox
From the entire heritage of the Bessarabian Church, we will analyze only the fate of
the holy icons that were lost, but also those saved after persecution.
We will try to retrieve the names of marthyrs servants, to present from the lives of
about 200 parishes and the only monastery surviving the soviet policy. As well, are
presented the main sanctities of value, especially icons, which are kept in museums
and private collections in various churches.
At the same time, studies and published documents are included, which approach
the topic of the Church during the communist regime. There are analyzed the
contributions of certain historians and theologians in view to recover and elucidate
the reality of life of MSSR Orthodox Church.
Octavian MOSIN,
The State University of Moldova, Chisinu

60. Eucharist and the Truth. The Icon as the Dynamic Essence of the
Being according to St. Maximus the Confessor

St. Maximus the Confessor claims that the logos of created beings represents their
essence as an icon. This claim gives us the opportunity to understand the term
essence as a dynamic reality and not as something that is given statically. Essence is
not something that the being is, but something that it should be. The idea of the icon
shows itself here as being ultimately ontological. The icon is not mirroring reality
but its eschatological realization. What will be uncovers the truth of the being. This
way, St. Maximus the Confessor lays ground for a dynamic ontology, which is a
fundamental step away from the Hellenic heritage. The equalization of the logos of
the essence of the being and the icon is only possible in an Eucharistic view of the
world, while the Eucharist ironically represents the presence of the eschatological
truth in history.
Aleksandar AKOVAC,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade

61. The Good and Bad Confession in Bulgarian Art

The article The Good and Bad confession in Bulgarian art considers the advent of
a new topic in Bulgarian art from the late 18th century. The iconography of The
Good and Bad confession appears for the first time in the hermitage St. Luke in
1799 at the Rila Monastery. Author of the scene is the iconographer Christo
Dimitrov. His new iconographic model continues to spread throughout the
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Bulgarian Revival (18th-19th century) as part of an overall mural ensemble of didactic
stories in the narthex of the temples. Through the image it represents the meaning
of the confession as a part of the sacrament of penitence. Two fields are displayed: 1.
The pure, righteous, good confession: the priest listens a sinner who confesses all
sins, he gets forgiveness and an angel lays a wreath on his head; 2. Wrong, bad
confession: the priest confesses a sinner, from the mouth of the sinner snakes go out.
That represents his lies, because he hides some of his sins, and the devil rejoices of
it. Usually the action takes place against the background of an icon of Jesus Christ or
Jesus Christ himself, blessing on a cloud or an icon of St. Mary, angels and devils,
speaking with the professed.
The above-mentioned iconography introduces the following problems: why it
occurs precisely during the Bulgarian revival? What are its functions? What is the
meaning and the relationship to other didactic stories to which is always displayed?
What is its graphic and ideological prototype?
These are the questions considered in the article. Depicting The Good and Bad
confession close to subjects like Going to the sorceress for remedy, The Aerial
Tollbooths and The Last Judgment explains the didactic, moral and Christian life
saving nature of this mural ensemble. Those subjects are linked as a result of the the
disputes between the Catholic and the Protestant churches on the council of Trident
(1545-1563). Subsequently these originally Western themes have been transformed
in Orthodox iconography in Russia and Mount Athos, and introduced in the
Bulgarian lands by hermeneias, engravings and highly educated bulgarian
Tatyana IVANOVA,
Faculty of Theology, Sv. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University

62. Hermeneutics of the Icon of holy Trinity by Andrei Rublev,

a Testimony of the Mission of the Church in the context of secular

Wearing the True as a definition, the icon of Holy Trinity is nothing else but a
reflection of the past, present and future, because its contents are whole principles
of salvation in love of God. Transcending the effective representation in the
expression of the direct aspiration of worship, means that the Trinity give to world
rationality and sacred feelings. Although there is a vacuum in the space of the Old
Testament, the Holy Trinity icon representing that is nothing else, but a preparation
for the New Law. Supreme gesture of love between Holy Trinity Persons, shows
how the Churchs mission work in the world. The Churchs mission though the
work of Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the answer given to secular humanity.
Iconographic representation of Saint Andrei Rublev wants to show two aspects: the
deification of man by the quality of the observer and the beauty of living in a
religious commnity that opening oneself to other people. Mamvre Oak analogy
event causes observers to participate effectively at the feast of faith. For this reason,

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Andrei Rublev sees the roundtable as a form of reconcilation with God, through
Holy Communion. The testament of russian painter, offer believers the opportunity
of living fully, with those many spiritual elements represented in the icon.
Hermeneutics of Holy Trinity icon, show therefore, the called man to the feast of
love, ready to become a partaker of communion.
Bondre Vlad-Ioan
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia

63. Highlighting the Antithesis between the Icon as an illustration of

Human Transfiguration - and postmodern Idols

Abstract: The Edenic nostalgia has always remained in the soul of the fallen man.
Because of this, the human being, which had retained the image of the grace of
Divinity, has always aspired to rediscover this in himself. The reinstatement of the
theandric community was accomplished by the incarnation of the Savior, which
abolished the Old Testament ban regarding the representation of sacred realities. On
this basis, the human being perceived the need to represent in icons both God and
the saints. If God is the personification of the Absolute, the saints are illustrations of
human nature transfigured by pneumatization. Therefore, the icon reveals itself to
the believer as a permanent, eternal standard of morality, challenging him to gain
the grace of God similarly to the saint or saints represented in the icon. Therefore,
the icon is a viable alternative in the face of all the idols of the ephemeral world.
Of the realities transformed into idols by an assiduous passion, which voids the soul
of the divine grace and creates addiction, to name but a few: material possessions,
the overemphasis of physical beauty, the worship of technological progress, the
replacement of icons with images of celebrities/stars (posters), work overload etc. In
antithesis, the icon reorients the human being to God, provoking him to activate the
divine image inside him.
Dorina Gabriela Murean
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babe-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

64. Contribution of the Radu Tempea II and Eustachie Grid

to the construction and the paintings of the two Chapels of St
Nicholas Church from cheii Braovului in the XVIII th century

We led our research on the special importance of the Museum of the First Romanian
Scholl of cheii Braovului, an old educational institution, reflecting the Romanian feelings
and thinking, which is the shelter of a Book stock of over 40,000 documents, a collection of
over 4,000 old books and 300 icons, together with the Church, a historical monument, whose
patron is Saint Nicholas. An entire national cultural patrimony coagulated around the
Church. Our study is homage to the scholar priests from the 18th century, who watched
over the construction of the two chapels of the Church Saint Nicholas of cheii Braovului,

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edifices with an original architecture and impressive paintings of the Chapels.
Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Ovidius University, Constana



Abstract: This essay seeks to throw light on central statements about the church
by Martin Luther, interpreting these statements in terms of Orthodox ecclesiology.
This project is motivated by a firm commitment to the Christian faith, opposing any
mere half-truths or superstitious claims. It takes issue with modernitys tendency to
relativize truth, especially in the context of pluralist theories of religion. This essay
thus rejects the relativizing understanding of truth, affirming instead the notion of
God as confessed by the Church. From this vantage point, the core claims defining
Martin Luthers understanding of church are laid out. Here the major emphasis is
on his The Councils and the Church(1539), Papacy at Rome. An answer to the
celebrated romanist at Leipzig(1520), his Lenten homilies (Invocavit, from 9 to 16
March, 1522), and his famous homily on the consecration of the palace chapel at
Torgau (5 October, 1544). Special attention is paid to Luthers distinction between a
visible and an invisible church, to his ideas about a theology of the image and to the
latters impact on the design of houses of worship. A final section places these results
into the perspective of the Orthodox Tradition, thus developing a profounder
understanding of the Church.
Wolfgang Wnsch
Faculty of Theology, 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia, Romania; Dean of Sebe
district/ Evangelical Church of Augustan Confession in Romania

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