St Stephanos Monastery Meteora
The Depiction of the Second Coming or the Last Judgement
A. Introduction to the Holy Painting
B. The Depiction of the Second Coming
– Its location in the Narthex
– Inspiration sources for the depiction
– Description: Deesis, The Preparation of the Throne, The Righteous and the Sinners, The Choirs of the Righteous, Paradise, The River of Fire, Other details, Hell, The Dragon (Hades)
C. The Resurrection, the Second Coming and the Last Judgement according to the teaching of our Orthodox Church
a. Second Coming, Last Judgement
b. Eternal Life
The depiction of the Last Judgement aims at moral speculation and pedagogical mindfulness of death. Upon viewing this depiction, man, bearing in mind the futility of material and perishable goods as well as the future end of his life on earth, orientates himself towards that which is truly valuable, the real eternal spiritual treasures, which are acquired and experienced from the present life.
The thought of death and the longing for the heavenly Jerusalem do not transfer the centre of our existence to something remote and alien to everyday life. On the contrary, they urge us towards an essential inward spiritual struggle which is accomplished in our daily life, because as much of ‘paradise’ as we experience here on earth, so much the more we shall live in paradise in the next life and as much of hell as we partake of here, so much more will we suffer after death.
The photographs of this beautifully illustrated book are taken from the icon of The Last Judgement that is painted on the wall in the narthex of the Monastery of St Stephanos at Meteora, Greece.
Bilingual. Written in English with parallel Greek.
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