Dirk G. Lange is Associate Professor of Worship at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN where he teaches Worship and Lutheran Confessional Writings. He received his PhD in theology from Emory University. Working in the area of constructive liturgical theology, he re-reads classic theological texts through the lens of liturgy, trauma theory and post-structuralist literary theory. He recently published Trauma Recalled: Liturgy, Disruption and Theology (Fortress Press, 2009), which explores a new language for Martin Luther’s Eucharistic hermeneutic. His ministerial experience has covered a wide spectrum of activities, but all under one umbrella: liturgy in the lives of people. During the 1980s, as a brother of Taizé, he worked with prayer groups in the Eastern European underground. During the early 1990’s, he was engaged with the prayer and songs of Taizé working closely with the composer, Father Joseph Gelineau, SJ. Dirk is interested in the ways liturgical disruption can rewrite ecclesiology and ecumenism. He is an ordained pastor in the ELCA.
Rather than being frightened by this image of Christ as the holder of the keys, the one who opens and no one can close and who closes and no one can open, the image of Christ as Key of David instilled in me a far-reaching confidence.
What is most intriguing for me, as I listened to pastors and lay people tell their story, was the unique way in which these instances of communal prayer were not only rooted in the classic structure of the daily office but at the same time were radically open to receiving and integrating the cry from the street, the cry, the desire, the aspiration of many both believers and non-believers.
A “sportive” spirituality is rooted in prayer. It is rooted in daily prayer. Prayer – individual or communal – is one of the ways that we “practice” our baptism (see Luther’s writing on baptism in the Large Catechism, The Book of Concord, page 461).