Dr. Boosalis began his lecture by defining the word icon. He spoke of the word icon as meaning likeness, representation or in the image of something else. Furthermore, he taught that the icon is given honor or reverence.
Dr. Boosalis also spoke of Jesus being the natural image of God and humanity being an imitation of that image. Like an icon we are created in the image and/or likeness of God, but are not the image of God. Furthermore, he said that we are called to grow in the likeness/image of God.
Dr. Boosalis went on to define and discuss iconoclasm. He defined iconoclasm as the condemning and/or banning of the use of icons. He discussed the banning and destruction of icons that occurred in the 700s and the tension between those who supported the ban, the iconoclasts, and those who did not, the iconodules. In 787AD, the 7th Ecumenical Counsel was called and resolved the issue by clarifying the distinction between worship, which is reserved for God alone, and honor and/or veneration that is given to icons and the saints.
Dr. Boosalis ended his talk by going back to the idea that humans are the living icons of God and that by honoring each other as such, we honor God. It was a very enlightening and enriching lecture.
We thank Dr. Boosalis for his time and the spiritual knowledge that he shared with us.
By Sh. Amanda Thompson, Wife of Dn. Nathan Thompson, Antiochian Archdiocese