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Microcosm and Mystery: the Liturgical Space of the Orthodox Church
May 13, 2018 @ 9:45 am - 10:45 am EDT
The iconic, domed churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, built for the celebration of the Eucharist and other liturgical services, originated in the East Roman Empire known today as “Byzantium.” Byzantine churches such as Justinian’s Hagia Sophia in the capital city of Constantinople were both ritual and highly symbolic spaces. Evan Freeman describes how Byzantine writers interpreted their churches as microcosms representing heaven and earth, and how artists developed sophisticated iconographic programs that pictured salvation history and eschatology, all of which set the state for the liturgical sacraments or “mysteries” celebrated within. Evan Freeman is a Lecturer in Liturgical Art at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and a PhD candidate at Yale University.