"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).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jogging with Jesus through Jerusalem

Eerdmans has a new series of books devoted to liturgical history and liturgical development. Its most recent publication is:

Lester Ruth, Walking Where Jesus Walked: Worship in Fourth-Century Jerusalem (The Church at Worship: Case Studies from Christian History) (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010), 184pp.

About this series, the publisher first tells us that "The Church at Worship is a new series of documentary case studies of specific worshiping communities from around the world and throughout Christian history."

About this inaugural volume, Walking Where Jesus Walked, the publisher says that it "uses vivid descriptions of Jerusalem, its history, its people, and its worship practices to set the stage for a rich selection of primary church documents, presenting readers with a vibrant snapshot of the church at Jerusalem in the fourth century." Moreover, the publisher says:
Walking Where Jesus Walked is a document-rich snapshot of the church in Jerusalem in the late fourth century. Here the reader journeys with a woman visiting Jerusalem as the highlight of a Holy Land pilgrimage in the last part of the fourth century. As she marvels at the new churches built at so many sites associated with Jesus Christ, she notes how remembrance shaped by Scripture and fitting to the time and place serves as the bedrock for this church’s worship. Ruth helps today’s reader hear the preaching which caused shouts of delight at the tomb of Christ, know the readings which lead the congregation to weep in the shadow of Calvary, and see the new buildings which sought to manifest God’s glory at the places where Jesus had walked, died, and risen from the grave. By pairing contemporary descriptions, artistic portrayals, and worship texts with various commentaries to guide readers, this first in a series of case studies of particular worshiping communities from around the world and throughout Christian liturgical history aims to allow a worshiper today to think concretely and contextually about some of the continually important issues for Christian worship.
Some of the primary materials included here:
  • Select art, artifacts, and architectural drawings
  • Egeria’s Diary: A Pilgrim’s Observations of Jerusalem at Worship
  • The lectionary and communion prayer likely used in Jerusalem
  • The Liturgy of St. James, historically associated with Jerusalem
  • Excerpts from the sermons of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem 
This will be reviewed later this year or early next year in Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies.

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