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In Search of the Earliest Icons
In Encounters with God Sister Wendy Beckett travelled to remote churches and monasteries to view the earliest icons of Mary. In Real Presence she resumes this journey to see additional early icons of Jesus and the saints icons that are among the few to survive the wholesale destruction of icons in the early eighth century. In contrast to the familiar and magnificent icons of later history, these early icons have a haunting simplicity and unfamiliar spiritual power. They come to us from a time closer to that of Christ, when faith was still alive with wonder and possibilities, and these images, a vehicle for prayer, can truly convey his real presence. Prayerful and heartfelt, Real Presence engages with the spiritual imagination of the early church, giving insight into all the emotion and drama of early Christianity and, in so doing, deepens our understanding of faith lived out today.