Lecturer Dn. Evan Freeman explores art and liturgical reform

On Tuesday St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) featured one of its own, faculty member and alumnus Dn. Evan Freeman, in a special seminar. Dn. Evan’s talk, “Art and Liturgical Reform: Byzantine Eucharistic objects and the development of the Prothesis rite," was the first in a series of monthly seminars to be hosted on campus featuring members of the SVOTS academic community and guest speakers.

A full house, including both faculty and students, gathered to hear the presentation in the Seminary’s Gerich Boardroom.

“I argued for the importance of liturgical arts for understanding the history and experience of liturgy,” said Dn. Evan. “Eucharistic objects such as the chalice and diskos, for example, were active participants in the development, interpretation, and performance of the Prothesis rite. Corresponding with the words and ritual actions of the Prothesis, Eucharistic objects enabled the clergy to visualize and commemorate Christ’s incarnation and Passion in the preparation of the bread and wine through their forms, materiality, inscriptions, and iconography.”

Dn. Evan is lecturer in Liturgical Art and assistant director of the Sacred Arts Initiative at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. He holds a Th.M. and M.Div. from the Seminary and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. He is currently writing his dissertation on portable objects of the Middle Byzantine liturgy. His dissertation is titled, “Ritual Object, Ritual Space: Art, Agency, and Performance in the Middle Byzantine Liturgy.” Dn. Evan’s research has been supported by an Andrew W. Mellon Mediterranean Regional Research Fellowship from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and by a Dissertation Grant from the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture.