Here are abstracts from the November issue of Worship as well as the list of books that were reviewed. For more information on Worship, or to subscribe to the journal, please visit its website.
The Amen Corner: Gail Ramshaw, “Mary Magdalene and Preaching”
The minimal treatment of Mary Magdalene in the Scriptures has allowed for two millennia of imaginative elaboration on her biography and her role in the faith, and still today preachers commandeer her to serve a wide array of causes. As a Lutheran I have high expectations for sermons, and I call for responsible proclamation of the Word to replace our history of Magdalene antics by preaching less fantasy and more faithfulness.
Julia Upton, RSM: “H. A. Reinhold: Liturgical Prophet, Hero, and Pickerel”
For two decades Fr. H. A Reinhold was one of Worship’s most important writers, contributing 185 articles from 1939 to 1957, most of them as author of the “Timely Tracts” begun by Virgil Michel in 1936. Of Reinhold’s contributions Godfrey Diekmann wrote: “For about 20 years H.A.R. almost was Orate Fratres and Worship, and I suspect that the great majority of people who subscribed did so because they did not want to miss his Timely Tract. It was never dull. He seemed to have been in touch with almost every aspect of Christian life. He couldn’t have had a big library at the time, and yet he kept abreast of developments in theology, sociology, literature, the fine arts and so forth, and he always had something incisive to say.” In “H. A. Reinhold: Liturgical Prophet, Hero and Pickerel,” Julia Upton. RSM charts for readers the course that Reinhold’s columns took during that period, helping to shape our Church’s worship and its link to justice we experience today.
Andrew Wymer and Chris Baker: “Drowning in Dirty Water: A Baptismal Theology of Whiteness”
This paper, responding to the murder of Eric Garner and ongoing “drama of race” in the U.S. that is highlighted by #Wecantbreathe, offers both a critical engagement with “whiteness” (as both a social construct and a Christian theological meaning-making and soteriological symbol) in white mainline Protestant baptismal liturgies and theologies, and a sketch of a constructive baptismal theology of whiteness. In it, drawing from sources in liturgical and sacramental theology, critical race theory, critical whiteness studies, hermeneutic philosophy, black and Africana philosophies, contemporary theologies, and social sciences, we argue that as “whiteness” is a significant and unacknowledged problem within both historically white churches and U.S. public life, baptismal theology must be reimagined in ways that critically engage it. We first offer a critique of “whiteness” and an engagement with the symbolization of “white” and “black” in both the racial imagination and the Christian theological imagination, while introducing an understanding of what we will call “soteriological whiteness.” Then, in a constructive turn, we offer two metaphors that will help construct a baptismal theology of whiteness: “Baptismal asphyxiation” and being “baptized in dirty waters.” These metaphors help reimagine baptism in ways that contest rather than reinforce whiteness, anticipating a more anti-racist approach to baptismal liturgies and theologies.
Gabriel Radle: Embodied Eschatology: The Council of Nicaea’s Regulation of Kneeling and Its Reception across Liturgical Traditions (Part I):
This two-part article explores the Christian tradition of refraining from kneeling on Sundays and throughout Eastertide. The author demonstrates how this custom, adopted at the Council of Nicaea in 325, was broadly supported across Christian traditions of late antiquity. In part one, the author traces the reception and adaptation of this tradition in the West, from the early Middle Ages to the Reformation.
Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspectives. By Andrew B. McGowan. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016. Pages, xiv + 298. Paper, $29.99. ISBN: 978-0-8010-9787-4. Reviewed by Maxwell Johnson.
The Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes Then and Now. By Michael G. Lawler, Todd B. Salzman, and Eileen Burke-Sullivan. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2014. Pages, 205. Paper, $24.95. ISBN: 978-0-8146-8270-8. Reviewed by Thomas Massaro, SJ.
50 Years On: Probing the Riches of Vatican II. Edited by David G. Schultenover. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2015. Pages, 442. Paper, $39.95. ISBN 978-0-8146-8301-9. Revised by Brandon Reed Peterson.
You Can’t Put God in a Box: Thoughtful Spirituality in a Rational Age. By Kelly Besecke. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pages, 182. Paper, $19.95. ISBN: 978-0-19-993094-4. Reviewed by Claire E. Wolfteich.
The Psalms: Songs of Faith and Praise: The Revised Grail Psalter with Commentary and Prayers. Edited by Gregory J. Polan, OSB. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press 2015. Pages, 387. Paper, $24.95. ISBN: 978-0-8091-4882-0. Reviewed by Norman Bonneau, OMI
The Shape of the Liturgy. By Gregory Dix. New Edition with an Introduction by Simon Jones. London and New York: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015. Pages, xli + 764. Paper, $39.95. ISBN: 978-0-5676-6157-9. Reviewed by John F. Baldovin, SJ.