United Theological Seminary

Jennifer Awes Freeman

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Assistant Professor of Arts and Theology

Jennifer Awes Freeman is Assistant Professor and Program Director of Arts and Theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She came to United in 2018 after teaching at the University of St. Thomas as a Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her Ph.D. in 2016 from Vanderbilt University where she specialized in the relationship between art and theology in the early Middle Ages. Awes Freeman’s publications have examined the role of images and material culture in religious meaning making during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. Her research considers images as theological resources independent of texts, iconoclastic acts against images as constructive statements, and the dynamic interpretations of a given image in various communities and periods. At United, she teaches courses on the arts and historical theology. She lives in St. Paul with her husband and three children, and attends Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.

Education

  • Ph.D. Vanderbilt University
  • M.A. Vanderbilt University
  • M.A.R. Yale Divinity School
  • B.A. Bethel University

Books

  • Erasing God: The Carolingian Reception of the Ashburnham Pentateuch, Boydell & Brewer (draft).
  • The Good Shepherd: Image, Meaning, and Power, Baylor University Press (draft).

Translation

  • In honorem sanctae crucis by Hrabanus Maurus (draft).

Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters

  • “Theological Meaning and Artistic Influence in the Early Middle Ages: A Case Study,” (draft).
  • “Erasing God: The Ashburnham Pentateuch in its 9th c. Context and Beyond,” Allegorica 30 (2015): 3-14.
  • “Theologizing Gender in the Rothschild Canticles,” Medieval Feminist Forum 48.2 (2012): 68-93.

Non-peer Reviewed Invited Articles and Chapters

  • “Altar-ed Arks: Form as (Theological) Function in Late Antique and Early Medieval Reliquaries,” Death and Rebirth in Late Antiquity, ed. Lee Jefferson, Lexington Books (forthcoming).
  • “Good Shepherd,” “Nimbus,” “Scala Coeli,” in Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, ed. Paul J. J. van Geest, et al., Leiden: Brill (forthcoming).
  • “The Kiss of Christ as Communion,” ARTS 29.1 (Fall 2017): 36-53.
  • “The Council of Nicaea (325),” “The Council of Constantinople (381),” “Ecumenical Councils,” in Great Events in Religion: An Encyclopedia of Pivotal Events in Religious History, ABC-Clio (2016).
  • “The Good Shepherd and the Enthroned Ruler: A Reconsideration of Imperial Iconography in the Early Church,” in The Art of Empire: Christian Art in its Imperial Context, Lee Jefferson and Robin Jensen, eds. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015), 159-195.

Research Interests

  • Art and Theology
  • Material Religion
  • Theological Aesthetics
  • Medieval Art and Architecture
  • Medievalisms
  • Sacred Space
  • Liturgy
  • Orthodox Christianity
  • Theology of Icons

Classes taught

  • History of Arts and Theology
  • Arts Praxis
  • History of Christian Theologies
  • Religious and Theological Interpretation
  • Medieval Women Mystics