"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).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Anton Baumstark and the Historical Development of Liturgy

Anyone who has even the remotest serious understanding of, or interest in, Eastern Christian liturgy (especially the Byzantine-Constantinopolitan tradition) will recognize at once the enormous debt owed to Anton Baumstark (1872-1948), a prodigious scholar of enormously wide-ranging erudition. This debt is constantly on display in Baumstark's greatest living "disciples" today, including the eminent Robert Taft, and many of Taft's students and colleagues, including Peter Galadza, Mark Morozowich, Vassa Larin, Alexander Rentel, and others. Baumstark pioneered methods for the study of the history and development of liturgy that have made Eastern liturgy come alive in our time in scholarly studies previously unprecedented in scope and scale.

At long last we have, forthcoming in December of this year from Liturgical Press, an English translation of one of Baumstark's earlier works from 1923: On the Historical Development of the Liturgy (Liturgical Press, 2011, 256pp).

About this book, the publisher tells us:

Anton Baumstark s On the Historical Development of the Liturgy (1923) complements his classic work, Comparative Liturgy. Together they lay out his liturgical methodology. Comparative Liturgy presents his method; On the Historical Development of the Liturgy offers his model. This book was written for one audience and valued by another. Written to lead adherents of the nascent German liturgical movement to a deeper religious appreciation of Catholic worship, its methodology and scope have won the appreciation of liturgical specialists for nearly a century. In describing the organic growth of the liturgy, its shaping and distortion, Baumstark s reach extends from India to Ireland, Moscow to Axum, Carthage to Xi an. He discusses the influences of language, literature, doctrine, piety, politics, and culture. While his audacity can be breathtaking and his hypotheses grandiose, his approach is nevertheless stimulating. In this annotated edition, Fritz West provides the first English translation of this work by Anton Baumstark.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...