The term means “the smashing of icons.” The most important iconoclastic controversies occurred in the seventh and eighth centuries. These controversies led to the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787. The orthodox party urged that in the Incarnation deity was united to created human nature, so it is appropriate to make material images of Christ. There have been other iconoclastic movements in Christian history, notably during the Protestant Reformation. For example, English Puritans attacked the use of church ornaments and vestments. See Icon.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.