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The Art of Seeing: Paradox and Perception in Orthodox Iconography

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The Art of Seeing explores sacred images in light of Orthodox theology, making special use of perspectives and insights from the patristic interpretation of sacred texts. Drawing on the disciplines of art history, aesthetics, and theology, this innovative study explores the phenomenon of paradox-at once artistic, visual, and cognitive-through which sacred images disturb the eye and provoke the mind to reflection. Like a detour made necessary by an insurmountable obstacle, the paradox of the image marks the way, the mysterious path of ascent, but it also marks a place, for it is the irruption into the world of something beyond the world. In seeking presence over representation, the icon aims to deepen perception into the awareness that the absence of visual resemblance has the power to virtualize within itself resemblance to the invisible God.