"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Serious is Worship?

Released in paperback form this year after hardback publication two years ago is a new Festschrift for the Yale scholar of liturgy, who has written about both Western (Latin and Anglican) liturgy and Syriac: Simon Jones and Melanie Ross, eds., The Serious Business of Worship: Essays in Honour of Bryan D. Spinks (Continuum, 2012), 256pp. 
About this book the publisher tells us:
The study of liturgy has received criticism from scholars and practitioners alike: the academic discipline of liturgiology has been compared to the hobby of stamp collection, and proponents for liturgical renewal argue that worship must be made more accessible and relevant.   Bryan Spinks has been an important moderating voice in this discussion, reminding both academic and ecclesial communities that Christ is made known in the liturgical riches of the past as well as in contemporary forms of the present. Inspired by Spinks’ work, this volume brings together biblical, historical, and theological scholars to discuss the theme of continuity and change in worship.  Its historical range begins with the early church, extends through the Reformation, and concludes with a discussion of issues facing contemporary liturgical reform. In recognition of the fact that Professor Spinks’ work has been widely influential in both Europe and the United States, the editors have solicited liturgical perspectives from scholars with international reputations on sides of the Atlantic.
Table of Contents:Introduction (Melanie C. Ross) / Forword (Iain Torrance) / The Serious Business of Worship (Bryan D. Spinks) / Part I: Early Church and Eastern Traditions Introduction / Chapter 1 (Robert F. Taft): St. John Chrysostom, Preacher Committed to the Seriousness of Worship / Chapter 2 (Michael Daniel Findikyan): The ‘Opening of the Door’ Ceremony on Palm Sunday in the Armenian Church / Chapter 3 (Gregory Woolfenden): A Tension between Private and Public Prayer? Reflections on the origins of the day hours / Chapter 4 (Anthony Gelston): The East Syrian Eucharistic Prayers / Chapter 5 (Paul Bradshaw): Varieties of Early Christian Baptismal Anointing / II: Patristic and Reformation Eras Introduction / Chapter 6 (Kenneth Stevenson): The Transfiguration Sermon of Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny / Chapter 7 (Gordon Jeanes): Is the Institution Narrative Necessary in the Eucharist? The opinion of Martin Bucer, Corpus Christi, Cambridge, MS 113, pp.315-324 / Chapter 8 (Robin A. Leaver): Metrical Psalms and Canticles, the Book of Common Prayer, and Thomas Cranmer / III: Contemporary Liturgical Renewal Introduction / Chapter 9 (Joseph Britton): The Berkeley Rite / Chapter 10 (Philip Tovey): Two Models of Inculturation and Eucharistic Prayers with Children / Chapter 11 (Simon Jones): 'Outward Ceremony and Honourable Badge': the Theological Significance of the Sign of the Cross in the Baptismal Liturgies of the Church of England and Scottish Episcopal Church / Chapter 12 (Siobhán Garrigan): Is Ecumenical Worship a Serious Business? (Two Case Studies and a Funeral) / Chapter 13 (Maxwell E. Johnson): Is Anything Normative in Contemporary Lutheran Worship? / Chapter 14 (Melanie C. Ross): The Serious Drama of Worship / Chapter 15 (John D. Witvliet): From ‘DNA to Cellular Structure’: Charting recent evangelical scholarly engagement with corporate worship practices / Bryan D. Spinks: Bibliography of Principal Works / List of Contributors

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