A Church of the Three Councils

Second Council of Nicaea (787)

This council was largely concerned with the issue of iconoclasm. While its decrees are strong affirmations of the centrality of the Incarnation and of the value of the body and of depictions of it, it responded to a controversy limited to the Byzantine empire and deeply implicated in imperial politics, and was irrelevant to the non-Chalcedonian churches. Nowadays its value is largely historical; it added nothing new to apostolic teaching, although it strengthened certain aspects of it. Its value is marred by a number of anti-Semitic canons among its decrees. (The non-Chalcedonian Churches never gave up the use of icons.)