Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

I. Terminology – II. Technique and Material – III. Theological Basis – IV. History

I. Terminology

The word icon, from Gk εἰκών/eikṓn (“image, likeness”), is usually associated with egg-tempera paintings on a primed wood panel, used in the cult of the Eastern Orthodox churches (i.e. the churches that have accepted the Council of Chalcedon, but also a few pre-Chalcedonian churches such as the Coptic [Copts] and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches). Pictures are called icon…

Cite this page
Felmy, Karl Christian, “Icons”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 18 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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