The January Issue of Worship

The January 2018 issue of Worship is out, and below is a summary of the contents. You can subscribe to Worship here.

AMEN CORNER: Don Saliers, Psalms in a Time of Violence – Reprinted in full here.

Kenneth G. Davis, OFM Conv. – Hispanics and Homiletics. Increasingly common among Catholic parishes in the USA are preaching moments where the homilist and the assembly do not share the same culture and mother tongue. The thesis of this article is that helping preachers master cultural exegesis, a term coined for homiletics, although more broadly understood in general ministry as an aspect of intercultural competency, best addresses this concern. The thesis develops by: (1) identifying two common solutions used by cross-cultural preachers; (2) demonstrating the limitations of both of those solutions through two thought experiments; (3) introducing the term “cultural exegesis” through a third thought experiment that explores how the skill might be used in a common Hispanic rite of passage; (4) concluding with the assertion that preachers who engage in culturally competent ministry find themselves homeless because such ministry necessarily changes these ministers who can never return home, that is, to their former naïve understanding of culture.

Gordon Lathrop – The Study of Liturgy: An Ecumenical Rejoinder. “The Study of Liturgy: An Ecumenical Rejoinder” seeks to respond to an earlier article in Worship by Bogusław Migut that argued for a very specific German, Roman Catholic, early-to-mid twentieth century origin of Liturgiewissenschaft or the Study of Liturgy. The response seeks instead to locate that origin much more widely and ecumenically. In the process, the author of this rejoinder urges liturgical scholars to broaden their knowledge of the practice of others and to avoid words like “the Church” and “the liturgy” in their writing when they mean only their own community and their own ritual practice.

Gary Macy – Mediterranean Meals to Go: Early Encounters With Nonvinous Cultures. The early middle ages was witness to one of the earliest attempts to introduce the Eucharist to cultures who did not use wine as an everyday drink causing a debate about the use of wine in the Mass.  Evidence exists that local beverages were substituted for wine and a lively discussion ensued among the theologians of the time about how much wine was needed in the liturgy.

David O. Taylor – Mother Tongues and Adjectival Tongues. Drawing on Colin Gunton’s pneumatology, this essay proposes a way in which the liturgical arts become instruments of the Spirit’s work to constitute a congregation’s singular liturgical identity. The argument of the essay is two-parted: that the liturgical arts a) deepen a congregation’s liturgical identity, that is, its particular way of praising God, what might be called its “mother tongue,” and thereby enable the congregation to be more fully itself, and b) open up liturgical identity to new practices of the arts in worship, by way of “adjectival tongues,” and hereby enable a congregation to become more richly itself. Following Gunton, the essay considers, first, the way in which the work of the Spirit in Christ’s life establishes the pattern for the Spirit’s work in all creation; second, in light of this pneumatological pattern, the essay proposes a way to relate the work of the Spirit to liturgical identity; and, third, the essay offers a series of working propositions for the ways in which the liturgical arts become aids to the Spirit’s work to deepen and enrich liturgical identity.

Jette Bendixen Rønkilde – “To Transcend This World While Remaining in It”: An Aesthetic Trinitarian Liturgical Theology of the Post-Pentecostal Reality. This article takes as its starting point in the post-Pentecostal reality of the Christian Church, which depends on mediation of divine presence through the Holy Spirit. The article uses terminology and concepts from liturgical theology to present a new interpretation of both well-known and lesser known texts by the 19th century Danish theologian and poet N.F.S. Grundtvig, and particularly emphasizes his Trinitarian approach to worship and Grundtvig’s understanding of worship as a meeting place between God and human beings. Using insights from the contemporary Danish philosopher Dorte Jørgensen, the article presents an understanding of worship as an aesthetic space of experience, where participation in communal practice enables an experience of God that produces a surplus of meaning. These experiences are termed aesthetic experiences and are the way post-Pentecostal human beings can encounter the divine in their existence.

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