The Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (787)

BookThe Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (787)

The Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (787)

Translated Texts for Historians, 68


July 13th, 2018

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The Second Council of Nicaea (787) decreed that religious images were to set up in churches and venerated. It thereby established the cult of icons as a central element in the piety of the Orthodox churches, as it has remained ever since. In the West its decrees received a new emphasis in the Counter-Reformation, in the defence of the role of art in religion. It is a text of prime importance for the iconoclast controversy of eighth-century Byzantium, one of the most explored and contested topics in Byzantine history. But it has also a more general significance – in the history of culture and the history of art. This edition offers the first translation that is based on the new critical edition of this text in the Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum series, and the first full commentary of this work that has ever been written. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers from a variety of disciplines.

‘Price has done much to make the acts of major ecclesiastical councils from the fifth through eighth centuries accessible by producing reliable,  well-annotated translations in the Translated Texts for Historians series... Scholars of the early Middle Ages, Byzantium and early Christianity should welcome the appearance of this volume. The translation has benefitted immensely from Price’s previous work on the ecumenical councils and his thorough engagement with Lamberz’s new edition and conclusions about the acts.’

Philip Michael Forness, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Author Information

Richard Price is Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity, Heythrop College and Honorary Research Fellow, Royal Holloway, University of London. His many previous publications include The Acts of the Council of Constantinople of 553 (Liverpool 2009), The Acts of the Lateran Synod of 649 (with P. Booth & C. Cubitt, Liverpool 2014), The Acts of the Second Council of Nicaea (Liverpool 2018), The Council of Ephesus of 431 (with T. Graumann, Liverpool 2020) and Canons of the Quinisext Council (691/2) (Liverpool 2020).