On Nov. 13, Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts will welcome Matthew Milliner, assistant professor of art history at Wheaton College, for a lecture entitled “Towards a Visual Ecumenism.” The lecture will investigate junctures in the history of Christianity where visual art transcended verbal disagreements and fostered unity within the church. It will also attempt to demonstrate how “visual ecumenism” can provide an investigation into places where verbal theology stalls. Two questions will be addressed particularly: Can visual art ameliorate Christian fragmentation, and has it been doing so all along?
Milliner earned his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and his M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from Princeton University. His scholarly specialization is Byzantine and medieval art, with a focus on how such images inform contemporary visual culture. He has published widely in both academic and popular venues. In 2014 he organized a scholarly symposium at the Art Institute of Chicago entitled “Envisioning the Eucharist,” which explored how art functions as visual theology. He was recently appointed a member of the Curatorial Advisory Board of the United States Senate.
The lecture is co-sponsored by the Duke Art, Art History, and Visual Studies Department. An audience Q&A will follow the lecture.