Summary of the Advent 2021 issue of Doxology.
Founded in 1984, Doxology: a journal of worship and the sacramental life is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal of liturgical scholarship bridging academic and church communities. It is published by the Order of Saint Luke, a dispersed ecumenical religious order founded by Methodists. The Order currently includes United Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists, members of Holiness movement churches, and many others. Doxology publishes work by established and emerging liturgical scholars to address historical, theological, and cultural questions about Christian worship and the sacramental life.
‘Christ Will Come Again’: Advent’s Promise Challenges Church Leaders
The Advent hymn “View the Present Through the Promise” by Thomas Troeger reminds its singers that “Christ will come again.” The promise “Christ will come again” invites church leaders to live a pattern of life challenging modernity’s assumption that God is not an active presence in the lives of human beings. Church leaders, responding to Advent’s eschatological call, allow their leadership to be shaped around “the hope past hope’s conceiving” that God is bringing. Bearing witness “to all the living” that Christ will come again, church leaders surrender their “calculating” and attempts to manage the future. Church leaders, knowing Christ’s coming again will be discontinuous with what has come before, hold loosely to their plans as they await the coming reign of God.
Précis: A retrospective short summary of Let Every Soul be Jesus’ Guest, A Theology of the Open Table
Mark W. Stamm, OSL
In this retrospective, the author provides some background to his decision to write Let Every Soul Be Jesus Guest, A Theology of the Open Table, published by Abingdon in 2006. Foremost in that decision was an attempt to offer a Wesleyan account for the United Methodist Church’s official permission that allowed for some offering of Holy Communion to persons who have not yet been baptized (See This Holy Mystery, A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion). As he argued, such a permission should not be read as replacing the ancient baptismal norm for admission to communion, but rather as a Methodist exception to that norm.
The author reminds the contemporary reader that his book also offered “cautionary words” in dialogue with the prevailing United Methodist practice of open table, and argued that retaining a more modest understanding of open table “reflects both ecumenical wisdom and compassion.”
Throwback Theology: “Mary of Nazareth”
Introduction by Rebecca L. Holland, OSL
This piece for Doxology’s ThrowBack Theology column is excerpted from Our Lady Saint Mary by the Reverend Joseph Gale Hurd Barry, D.D. (1858-1931). J.G.H. Barry was born on April 19, 1858 in Connecticut and attended Wesleyan University and later Berkeley Divinity School. He was a prolific writer, and this was one of his most popular works. Barry provides interesting food for thought, especially in the section on the sacramental theology of baptism as viewed through a Marian lens. He contemplates the power and meaning of Mary as the theotokos and asserts the importance of Mary in both Protestant and Catholic Theology. Works such as this one can be helpful in a pastoral setting because they provide an avenue and rich language for women and female identifying parishioners to find meaning and purpose in a religion that has been long dominated by male language and images.
Mark F. Leep, OSL
“A Stable Bleak and Worn”
Text: Edwin T. Childs (2021). Tune: LEOMINSTER; G.W. Martin.
BOOK AND SCREEN REVIEWS
S. Aaron Wong reviews Kristine Suna-Koro, In Counterpoint: Diaspora, Postcoloniality, and Sacramental Theology (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2017). ix + 308 pages. $37.00. ISBN: 9781625647108.
Kimberly Greway, OSL, reviews Beth Felker Jones, Pandemic Prayers: Devotion and Prayers for a Crisis (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2021). x + 95 pages. $16.00 ebook/paperback. $36.00 hardcover. ISBN: 9781725279544.
Sarah Mount Elewononi, OSL, reviews Timothy P. O’Malley, Real Presence: What Does it Mean and Why Does it Matter (Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2021). 137 pages. $14.95. ISBN: 9781646800551.
Heather Josselyn-Cranson, OSL, reviews Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve.