"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).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Liturgical Entrances Great and Small

The New Testament scholar Edith Humphrey, a former Canadian Anglican who entered the Antiochian Orthodox Church recently, has written a number of really excellent reviews for Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies including of  Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions and also, more controversially, Eugene Rogers' After the Spirit (Radical Traditions).

She is also herself the author of a number of interesting books, including Ecstasy and Intimacy: When the Holy Spirit Meets the Human Spirit and And I Turned to See the Voice: The Rhetoric of Vision in the New Testament; but I am especially looking forward to her forthcoming work:

Grand Entrance: Worship on Earth as in Heaven (Brazos Press, 2011), 272pp.

About this book, the publisher provides the following overview and contents:

Can we understand worship in a way that transcends style, relevance, and aesthetics? Taking into account the most contested issues of the "worship wars," Edith Humphrey shows how the act of entering into God's presence is central to all true Christian worship. Regardless of worship style, when we come into God's presence, we praise God alongside angels and with the whole of creation.
Seeking to reclaim the forgotten theme of worship as entry into God's presence, Humphrey shows its prominence in the Bible, providing an accessible but thorough study of the Old and New Testaments. She analyzes key moments in church history to show how worship developed in Eastern and Western churches. She also draws insights from healthy worshiping communities around the globe. The book offers practical guidance on leading worship today to worship leaders, pastors, thoughtful lay readers, and students.
Introduction: The Crisis of Corporate Worship and the Life of the Church
1. "Teach Us to Pray": What Is Worship, and Where Does Corporate Worship Fit?
2. "Praise God in His Sanctuary": Worship as Entrance in the Old Testament
3. "In Spirit and in Truth": Entrance in the New Testament
4. "From You Comes . . . Praise": Traditional Liturgies of the East
5. "In the Great Congregation": Traditional Liturgies of the West
6. "Your Church Unsleeping": Expressions of Worship Today
7. "That Your Prayers Not Be Hindered": Avoiding Pitfalls in Corporate Worship
Conclusion: "To Sing Is a Lover's Thing"
With a whole slew of ecumenical endorsements, which you may read here, Grand Entrance: Worship on Earth as in Heaven looks like a most interesting book that I am not only looking forward to reading and seeing reviewed in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, but also to adopting for use in my courses on liturgy.

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