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Sacraments and Worship
Key Readings in the History and Theology of Christian Worship From the New Testament to the Present
Edited and introduced by Maxwell E. Johnson
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
This large historical anthology of writings about worship is a very welcome arrival for anyone interested in the theology and practice of liturgy. Just dipping into it is an education; and with its Introduction and concise notes it is an amazing resource alongside recent histories of liturgical worship. It is organised in seven sections, relating to sacramental theology, liturgical theology, Initiation and baptism, Eucharist, liturgies of the word, ‘occasional’ sacraments – including penance, marriage, and ordination – and the liturgical year. In each section it contains key statements from recognised authorities in all periods of Christian worship, and from West and East. Within each, the selected documents show where there has been consistent evolution, where debate and dispute, and where – as even in baptism and the Eucharist – the most central acts of worship have unclear origins. It thus displays much of the richness and much of the ambiguity of Christian resources. It even sometimes shows where women had recognised roles in the early church, though of course it is an anthology of writings received into widespread orthodoxy, not of excluded writings. Highly recommended!
Reviewer: Su Reid (21/07/12)