Liturgical screens, East and West : liminality and spiritual experience

Title: Liturgical screens, East and West : liminality and spiritual experience
Variant title:
  • Liturgické přepážky, Východ a Západ : liminalita a duchovní zkušenost
Source document: Convivium. 2019, vol. 6, iss. Supplementum, pp. [68]-89
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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By focusing on liturgical screens, this contribution addresses issues of liminality in medieval art and ritual performance in the Eastern and Western Christian traditions. Serving as shrines for the holiest spaces within church edifices, liturgical separations created areas of inclusion or exclusion for the diverse categories of actors. In both Byzantine and Roman rites, the history of the sanctuary and choir screen is intertwined with the congregation's experiential transition from the direct visual participation in rites to being confronted with increasingly high screens that concealed the holiest part of the celebration and facilitated the multisensory engagement in the liturgy. By assessing the nature of these barriers as liminal devices, this study emphasizes the role of church screens in shaping rituals and generating devotional responses.