Windows to Heaven: Introducing Icons to Protestants and Catholics  -     By: Elizabeth Zelensky, Lela Gilbert
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Windows to Heaven: Introducing Icons to Protestants and Catholics

Brazos Press / 2005 / Paperback

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Product Description

Evangelicals often feel uneasy when they encounter the haunting images of Orthodox icons. From the theological to the practical, questions flood in: Why are the facial expressions so fixed? Why the colorful robes? What to the images symbolize? Do Orthodox Christians worship icons? In this useful guidebook, Elizabeth Zelensky and Lela Gilbert debunk common misconceptions about Orthodox icons and explain how they might enrich the devotional lives of non-Orthodox Christians. Each chapter opens with biblical passages and engaging anecdotes and closes with excerpts from personal journals. The authors offer a detailed look at five specific icons, discussing the importance of the incarnation, the Trinity, and Christ's transfiguration to the Orthodox faith. This approachable and engaging guide is perfect for those seeking to deepen or refresh their devotional lives.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 136
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2005
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1587431092
ISBN-13: 9781587431098
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Evangelicals often feel uneasy when they encounter the haunting images of Orthodox icons. From the theological to the practical, questions flood in: Why are the facial expressions so fixed? Why the colorful robes? What do the images symbolize? Do Orthodox Christians worship icons? Doesn't that make them idols?

In this useful guidebook, Elizabeth Zelensky and Lela Gilbert debunk common misconceptions about Orthodox icons and explain how they might enrich the devotional lives of non-Orthodox Christians. Each chapter opens with biblical passages and engaging anecdotes and closes with excerpts from personal journals. The authors offer a detailed look at five specific icons, discussing the importance of the incarnation, the Trinity, and Christ's transfiguration to the Orthodox faith.

This approachable and engaging guide is perfect for those seeking to deepen or refresh their devotional lives.

Author Bio

Elizabeth Zelensky, a Russian Orthodox believer, lectures in history at Georgetown University.

Lela Gilbert has written and coauthored numerous books, including Islam at the Crossroads and Their Blood Cries Out.

Publisher's Weekly

In recent years, Protestants have discovered icons, once the provenance of Eastern Orthodox churches. Zelensky (a historian of Russia) and Gilbert (a prolific writer/ghostwriter) team up to introduce Eastern icons to Western Christians. The authors open with a lucid discussion of what an icon is-and is not. It is not merely a work of art depicting the life of Jesus; it is a way of entering into relationship with the Triune God, "an instrument through which the knowledge of God... becomes accessible" to humanity. The heart of the book is a reading of five famous icons, including Andrei Rublev's icon of the Holy Trinity. Readers will learn about the history of these icons, their "writers" (creators), symbolism and place in Orthodox theology and liturgy. Six glossy illustrations round out the book. One wishes that the authors had refrained from straying occasionally into large philosophical debates, such as the issue of relativism versus objective reality; their forays into these quagmires are superficial and distracting. Still, the book is a feast; its authors compellingly suggest that icons offer a much-needed space for contemplation in a frenetic world. Indeed, this little book is itself such an oasis. Readers who like Frederica Mathewes-Green and Henri Nouwen will welcome this new addition to the icon shelf. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 12, 2007
    Anthony A Weidner
    The book "Windows to Heaven" gives a fine history and philosophy of Icons. The one improvement that I could suggest would be a few more photographs of icons. Overall the book gets a high rating.
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