Qoutes from OL XI Plenaries:
Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia - But when we are speaking of the icon as part of our prayer, then of course we need to qualify the word icon by saying the Holy Icon. What then is a Holy Icon? What kind of special image or reflection do we find in the Holy Icons? An excellent definition is given to us in a text from the 8th century from the life of Saint Stephen the New. He died as one of the martyrs in defense of one of the Holy icon, during the iconoclast travesty. And he calls the icon a door. The Holy Icon he says is said to be a door. What does that mean? The icon is a way of entry, but entry into what? It is a means of access. Access where? It is a point of meeting and encounter, with whom? The answer to these questions is the icon is a door into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Father Daniel Findikyan – Sacred iconography is well-known is Armenia, if perhaps a bit effusive than in the Byzantine world. Several Armenian churches come to mind for their exquisite iconography that covers practically every interior surface of the church. However, due in large measure to the very turbulent circumstances of the Armenian people, practically throughout our history, the Armenians preferred media for their sacred arts that were either more durable or more portable for their iconographic expression.
Father Andriy Chirovsky – If icons are expressions of our faith, then they are expressions that can be understood. They can be read. Those who prefer to say “write” rather than “paint” an icon – and both are just fine – want to emphasize the fact that there is meaning and that there is official Church teaching that Holy Tradition is embodied in icons. We are able to read it.
Prof. Richard Schneider – How do they work? How does all that happen? It’s a rather important subject because how it works makes all the difference between whether we view icons as some kind of unique transcendental object in the world, or whether we think that the way icons work is the way we work. The unique transcendental object is in fact US, not the icon.