Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ICONOCLASM

A heresy that rejected as superstition the use of religious images and advocated their destruction. It was occasioned by the rise of Islam, which considers all sacred images idolatrous. Moslem pressure on those in political power precipitated the crisis, which came in two phases. The first phase began with Emperor Leo the Isaurian in 726 and closed with the seventh general council and Second Council of Nicaea in 787. The second phase started with Emperor Leo V, the Armenian, and ended when the Feast of Orthodoxy was established in 842 under Empress Theodora. Sts. John Damascene and Theodore were the principal defenders of sacred images. As defined by II Nicaea, these images may be lawfully displayed and venerated. The respect shown them really is given to the person they represent. (Etym. Greek eik_n, image + klaein, to break.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline 23 hours ago
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16
Russia's demographic recovery + US demographic decline = danger April 16
James Carroll strikes (at the Church) again April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days