Course Number: SAI 213

Course Title: Theology of the Icon

Professor

Dr. Michela Beatrice Ferri Stucchi, Ph.D.

mferri@holyapostles.edu

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course explores the field of study dedicated to the Theology of the Icon, to the role of the Icon in our Christian World. The course is dedicated to analyze both the Theological and the Aesthetic meaning of the Icon. We will explore the points of the Theological Discourse on the Icons: A) The Incarnation as the Theological Foundation of the Icon, B) the Sacramental and Liturgical Function of the Icon, C) Icon as a mistery of the Sacred, D) Icon for our prayers. We will explore the points of the Aesthetic Discourse on the Icons: E) Icon as artwork with a two-dimensionality, F) the element of the irradiation, G) the upside-down ( reverse ) perspective, H) timelessness of the subject, I) the element of the own light. The course will provide reading indication for the most important Icons of our History, together with the Theological and Spiritual Significance for each of them.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

1)        Students will demonstrate the ability to explain all what concerns the field of study of the "Theology of the Icon".

2)        Students will demonstrate the ability to understand which are the features of the Theological Aspect of the Icon, together with the Symbolism, the Aesthetics and Sacred dimension in the Eastern and Western Christian iconographic traditions.

3)        Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze an artwork in the context of the history of Christian Iconography - and to read and interpret a Christian Icon in its theological meaning.


3. COURSE SCHEDULE

PART 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON

WEEK 01. INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON

27/08 (MONDAY) – 31/08 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson is an introduction to the field of study dedicated to the Theology of the Icon, to the role of the Icon in the history of our Christian World. The lesson is dedicated to an overview concerning both the Theological and the Aesthetic meaning of the Icon.

Definition of the field of study “Theology of the Icon”.

Definition of the term “Icon” for the Christian World

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 01.

Activities:

tell the class who you are and what you hope to gain from this course (300 words)

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz

WEEK 02. INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: THE GENESIS OF THE CHRISTIAN ICON

03/09 (MONDAY) – 07/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

The Genesis of the Christian Icon

This lesson offers an overview at the discovery of the origin of what we indicate as "Christian Sacred Art", which is our basis for the study of the Theology of the Icon.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 02.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz


WEEK 03. INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: EARLY CHRISTIAN ART

10/09 (MONDAY) – 14/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson offers an explanation of the very first icon “Not-Made-by-Human-Hands” – called also “Acheiropoiètos”, its provenance and its meaning in Christianity as irrefutable witness to the God’s salvific Incarnation. This lesson provide to the students also an overview of the path of the Early Christian Art, arriving to the Christian Eastern Art : themes, influences, symbolism, forms of expression.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 03.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz

WEEK 04. INTRODUCTION TO THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: BYZANTINE ART

17/09 (MONDAY) – 21/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson offers an overview of all what concerns the Christian Eastern Art known also as Byzantine Art.

Pay attention to these chronological steps: A) Eastern Christian - divided in (A1) Early Byzantine Period (330–717) and (A2) Iconoclastic Age (717–843). Then, the Middle Byzantine Period (843–1204) and the Late Byzantine Period (1204–1453).

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 04.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz


PART 2: THE FOUNDATION OF THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON

WEEK 05. THE FOUNDATION OF THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: ICONOCLASTIC CONTROVERSY

24/09 (MONDAY) – 28/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

The Theology of the Icon was born with the Second Council of Nicea in 787 A.D. This lesson explores how the different positions of the Fathers between East and West affected Christian Sacred Art.

This lesson presenta a focus on the various controversial iconoclastic tendencies of the First Iconoclastic movement (from 726 to 787), of the Second Iconoclastic movement (from 813 to 843), and on their origins, on the theosophical-theological polemics, on the cultual and liturgical repercussions on iconography, and on the respective arguments defending the Icon as sacred art intrinsic to the Christian faith.

Remember that we had an Iconolclastic period also in the West.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 05.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz

WEEK 06. THE FOUNDATION OF THE THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: THE FATHERS

01/10 (MONDAY) – 05/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson focus on the theological dogmatic thought of the Fathers who were icon apologists – mainly: Saint Germanus, Saint Nicephorus, Saint Theodore Studites, Saint John Damascene, and also Saint Basil the Great, together with Athanasius of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Alexandria.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 06.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz


WEEK 07. THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: THE INCARNATION OF THE WORD

08/10 (MONDAY) – 12/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson explores the first point of the Theological Discourse on the Icons:

A) The Incarnation of the Word of God as the Theological Foundation of the Icon

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 07.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz

WEEK 08. THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: SACRAMENTAL AND LITURGICAL FUNCTION

15/10 (MONDAY) – 19/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson explores the second point of the Theological Discourse on the Icons:

B) the Sacramental and Liturgical Function of the Icon

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 08.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz


WEEK 09. THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: MYSTERY OF THE SACRED

22/10 (MONDAY) – 26/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson explores the third point of the Theological Discourse on the Icons:

C) Icon as a Mystery of the Sacred

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 09.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz

WEEK 10. THEOLOGY OF THE ICON: MYSTERY OF THE SACRED

29/10 (MONDAY) – 02/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson explores the fourth point of the Theological Discourse on the Icons:

D) Icon for our prayers.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 10.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz


PART 3: FOR A THEOLOGICAL AESTHETICS OF THE ICON

WEEK 11. AESTHETICS OF THE ICON / 1

05/11 (MONDAY) – 09/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson explores the first point and the second point of the Aesthetic Discourse on the Icons:

E) The bidimensionality of the Icon

F) the element of the irradiation

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 11.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz

WEEK 12. AESTHETICS OF THE ICON / 2

12/11 (MONDAY) – 16/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This lesson explores the third point, the fourth point, and the fifth point of the Aesthetic Discourse on the Icons:

G) the upside-down ( reverse ) perspective,

H) timelessness of the subject,

I) the element of the own light.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 12.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Take quiz


WEEK 13. AESTHETICS OF THE ICON: ICONS OF CHRIST

19/11 (MONDAY) – 23/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This Lesson provides reading indication for the most important Icons of our History, together with the Theological and Spiritual Significance for each of them.

Today we start the analysis of the Icons of Christ, and of the Icons of the Resurrection.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 13.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Indications on how to compose the Slide Show will be explained in detail by Dr. Ferri

WEEK 14. AESTHETICS OF THE ICON: ICONS OF THE HOLY MOTHER

26/11 (MONDAY) – 30/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This Lesson provides reading indication for the most important Icons of our History, together with the Theological and Spiritual Significance for each of them.

Today we start the analysis of the Icons of the Holy Mother, and of the Icons of the Nativity.

Readings:

Texts, Videos, and Audio Lectures, are posted weekly in the apposite section of the Lesson 14.

Leonid Ouspensky, “Theology of the Icon”

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Indications on how to compose the Slide Show will be explained in detail by Dr. Ferri


WEEK 15. AESTHETICS OF THE ICON: FINAL PROJECT

03/12 (MONDAY) – 07/12 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

This Lesson is entirely dedicated to the Discussion of the Final Project.

The Final Project is due for the 07th of December – not beyond.

Activities:

plus at least one Peer Response.

Discuss your Peer’s “Final Project”

Final Project – 2000 Words Paper

The Final Project consist in a 2000 Words Paper

The papers should be doubled-spaced, with 2 inch margins, and using a 12 point font Arial.

Please include in the last page a Bibliography!

Please include a separate title page for your paper with the following information:

Your Last Name, the Week Number, and due date of the paper.

(e.g. Brown, Robert, Week 1, September, 8, 2016.

Email all your papers to the following email address: mferri@holyapostles.edu)

Theme of the Paper:

“Theology of the Icon. My study for this course”.

Related to the 2000 Words Paper:

please deliver a Slide Show Presentation ( PPT ) ( maximum 12 slides )

in which

each student analyzes a specific theme –

among the themes faced in this course:

a theme that captured the attention in this course.


4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The following tasks and assignments are designed for online learning – i.e., for learning that is both individually paced and a collaborative enterprise, as well as taking advantage of the resources available on the web. Assessment of learning and grade evaluation will be based upon the successful completion of these assignments.

Final Project – 2000 Words Paper

2000 Words Paper

The paper should be doubled-spaced, with 2 inch margins, and using a 12 point font Arial.

Please include in the last page a Bibliography.

Please include a separate title page for your paper with the following information:

Your Last Name, the Week Number,

and due date of the paper.

(e.g. Brown, Robert, Week 1, September, 8, 2019.

Email all your papers to the following email address:

mferri@holyapostles.edu)

Slide Show

Create the indicated number of slides about the theme of the lesson, as required.

The last slide will be dedicated to the section: “Bibliography”.

The “Bibliography” will contain at least three titles.

Citations in Discussion Posts

For the purposes of the Discussions in Populi, please do provide a full footnote for sources at the end of your post. You will have to type a special character (^) at the beginning and end of your numbers to make a superscript in Populi, e.g. ^1^, ^2^, etcetera. Use the special characters for superscript also in your footnote.

Example Footnote

^1^ Vincent Balaguer, Understanding the Gospels (New York, Scepter Publishers, Inc., 2005), 5, [Hereafter UG].

Also, to bold, italicize, or underline words in Populi,

please refer to the “Formatting Guide” located below all discussion/comment fields in Populi.


5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

You are requied to read the books:

Author : Leonid Ouspensky,

Title : Theology of the Icon (2 volumes),

Volume 1

Volume 2

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press

1992

ISBN-13: 978-0881411249

https://www.amazon.com/Theology-Icon-Set-Leonid-Ouspensky/dp/0881411248

Readings are posted weekly !

Other texts will be shared by professor Michela Beatrice Ferri during the lessons.

They are:

6. SUGGESTED READINGS and RESOURCES:

Students are not required to purchase the following books.

They can read them just for their own interest.

I can suggest you these marvelous books:

Author : Léonide Ouspensky, ‎Vladimir Lossky

Title : The Meaning of Icons,

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press

1999

ISBN: 9780913836996

Author : Nicholas Denysenko

Title : Icons and the Liturgy, East and West: History, Theology, and Culture

University of Notre Dame Press

2017

ISBN: 9780268101381

Author : Egon Sendler

Title : The Icon : Image of the Invisible: Elements of Theology, Aesthetics, and Technique

1988

ISBN: 0961854502

Author : Jeana Visel

Icons in the Western Church: Toward a More Sacramental Encounter

Liturgical Press,

2016

ISBN: 97808146601


7. EVALUATION

(Basis of evaluation with explanation regarding the nature of the assignment and the percentage of the grade assigned to each item below). Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

Grading Rubric for the Major Papers and Discussion Board (DB) Postings

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

CONTENT

Absence of Understanding

Posting shows no awareness of the concepts addressed in the topic by shifting off-topic

Misunderstanding

Posting demonstrates a misunderstanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic through an inability to re-explain them

Adequate Understanding

Posting demonstrates an adequate understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic by a re-explanation of them

Solid understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic and uses that understanding effectively in the examples it provides

Insightful understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts of the topic through the use of examples and by making connections to other concepts

WRITING & EXPRESSION

Incomplete writing

Posting is only partially written or fails to address the topic

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed

Posting touches only on the surface of the topic and proceeds to talk about something else; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Posting is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment;  satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors

Solid writing with something interesting to say

Posting is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples;  level-appropriate syntax and diction;  mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error

command-level writing, making a clear impression

Posting is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development ; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage

RESEARCH

Missing Research

Paper shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing.

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors.

Weak research and/or documentation

Inadequate number or quality of sources; many facts not referenced; several errors in citation format.

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources.

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

COMMUNITY INTERACTION (50-word response)

Inadequate response

Response merely provides laudatory encouragement for original post, e.g., “Excellent post! You really have thought of something there.”

Poor response

Response misses the point of the original posting or merely summarizes original posting to which it responds.

Acceptable response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds.

Individually-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds and fosters its development.

Community-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the learning community and fosters its development.

8. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

9. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends. Plagiarism includes: 1. Directly quoting without acknowledging the source. 2. Changing a few words of a text without indicating this was done and/or not acknowledging the source. 3. Not acknowledging that the structure of ideas or logic is from another author. 4. Not acknowledging a unique image (including analogies, similes, metaphors etc.) is from a particular document or author.

Students, where applicable:

     Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.

     Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.

     Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.

     Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students caught plagiarizing will receive a zero for the assignment, and may be withdrawn from the class and/or expelled from Holy Apostles.

10. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

11. INCOMPLETE POLICY

Eligibility

Students who have completed little or no coursework are ineligible for an “Incomplete” in a course. An instructor may grant an incomplete to a student who:

An “I” for “Incomplete” is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the instructor.

Process

A student seeking an Incomplete should obtain the Incomplete form from the shared folder of the files tab in Populi or from the Associate Registrar’s office. The student will fill out the parts of the form pertaining to the student and submit the form to the instructor before the end of the semester.

If the instructor approves the Incomplete, the instructor fills out the section of the Incomplete form indicating what the student must do to finish the course and signs the form.

The instructor of an online class sends the approved form to the Assistant Registrar for online learning; the instructor of an on-campus class sends the form to the Associate Registrar for on-campus learning. The instructor also sends a copy of the completed Incomplete form to the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete (I) must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade administratively turns into the grade of “F” for “Fail” if the course work is not completed by the end of the sixth week.

Other Results for Insufficiently Completing a Course

“W” for “Withdrawal” will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week.

Absent the granting of an “I” for Incomplete, “WF” for “Withdrawal/Fail” will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

A student who does not complete sufficient coursework to pass a course and does not request a W or a WF will receive an F as the final course grade.

12. YOUR PROFESSOR

https://www.holyapostles.edu/ferri-dr-michela/

Michela Beatrice Ferri, Ph.D. in Philosophy, born in Italy and living in Italy (Bergamo Area), is a Catholic professor and writer. She teaches at the Holy Apostles College Seminary Distance Learning Program. She is chair of the B.A. in Sacred Art Program. Her B.A. thesis in Philosophy, discussed in 2005 at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan), is dedicated to Edmund Burke and to the birth of the Modern Sublime (“Burke e la genesi moderna del sublime”). Her M.A. thesis in Philosophy, discussed in 2007 at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan), is dedicated to the concepts of “time” and of “art” in the first reception of Phenomenology in Italy (“Tempo e arte nella fenomenologia italiana”).

In February 2012 she received her Doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan), with a dissertation dedicated to the reception of Phenomenology in the United States of America. Her Ph.D. dissertation is the first work ever appeared in Italy, in Europe, and in North America focused on the history and on the analysis of the reception of Husserlian Phenomenology in the North America. She is the Editor of a volume titled: “The Reception of Phenomenology in North America” – projected on the basis of her dissertation – that will be published by “Springer” in 2018.

She is recognized as one of the leading experts in the field of Sacred Art. She is the Author of a volume dedicated to the dialogue between Catholic Faith and Art, devoted to an inquiry about Contemporary Sacred Art, titled “Sacro Contemporaneo. Dialoghi sull’arte”, published in 2016 by the Catholic publishing house “Áncora Editrice” based in Milan, Italy. In this book, she presents her dialogues with the major Catholic art historians and with the most important Contemporary Artists operating in Italy. This book will be published in English by “En Route Books and Media” in 2018.

Michela Beatrice Ferri is also journalist. She collaborated with the Vatican Television Center for a documentary series dedicated to the history of the Sacred Art in Italy, in 2017. She works for Catholic journals, writing about Philosophy, History, Theological Aesthetics, Aesthetics, Sacred Art, History of Art and History of Architecture, Church, Jewish Studies. Since 2009 she is married with Luca Stucchi, Catholic, Engineer and MS in Computer Science.

Dr. Michela Ferri is looking forward to have a wonderful Fall Semester with you !