Title

Icons in the Lived Experience of American Orthodox Christians

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-27-2019

School

Humanities

Abstract

This article explores how American Orthodox Christians today use and interpret icons in the course of their everyday devotional lives. Drawing upon ethnographic data collected through participant observation and interviews with parishioners of an Orthodox Church in Mississippi in 2015, I highlight the ways that diverse and multiple media within a wider American context of “buffet-style” spiritual appropriation affect informant considerations of and interactions with icons. Fundamental to this article is the tension between informants’ experiences with icons as the conveyance of divine “presence” and the concerns they express over the extent to which American commodification and mass-media cultures threaten the status and sacrality of images in Orthodox devotional practice.

Publication Title

Canadian-American Slavic Studies

Volume

53

Issue

3

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