The last decade has been characterized by a changing ritual landscape which inevitably brings about a change in the expression of worship and liturgy. This changing landscape can be seen in the growing interest in Orthodox icons. The Reformed tradition runs the risk of becoming irrelevant should it ignore this changing landscape and the needs it brings about regarding other forms of spirituality and ways of experiencing God. For this reason the researcher wished to explore the importance and place of icons in the liturgical and spiritual life of the Orthodox tradition, so as to develop an icon that can be used in a Reformed liturgy. The Practical Theology framework of Richard Osmer guides this research. The importance of rituals and symbols in the liturgy is discussed keeping liturgical inculturation and the significance of aesthetics and art in people’s religious experience in mind. The research explores iconography and the role icons play in the Orthodox spirituality and liturgy at length. Using a well-known icon as example the process of reading and writing icons is explained. The research also attends to icons from the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodoxy. The research attempts to give a comparison regarding the liturgies of the Reformed and Orthodox tradition. With all this in mind an icon-enriched Reformed liturgy is proposed. With liturgical inculturation and the South African context in mind an icon and accompanying liturgical element is developed in this study. The researcher is of opinion that the icon and creed that is presented in this study will enrich a Reformed liturgy in South Africa.
Dissertation (MTheology)--University of Pretoria, 2018.