Bret James Stewart's Reviews > The Study of Liturgy

The Study of Liturgy by Cheslyn Jones
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it was ok

This book is very much a niche-oriented tome. I think it succeeds on many levels but just does not reach its potential. The book covers the liturgical traditions of Christianity, the Roman Catholic faith, and various Orthodox religions. Unfortunately, the authors clump all the above into Christianity, which makes it impossible at times to determine to which group something applies. This is very confusing, and I take away one star for this. The contributors are from these religions, so that is nice in that, in theory, the particular segment is written and/or edited by a person of that faith group, which promotes accuracy.

The book is broken into three parts. The first part serves as the introduction and seeks to define liturgy and its relationship to preaching and worship of the various religions included in the book. Ritual is also defined and dealt with here. This is actually my favourite part of the book as I am much more interested in what might be called the concept of liturgy and ritual rather than a history of its practice, which is dealt with in part two. This section is by far the longest and includes chapters on the eucharist, ordination, and what they refer to as the “Christian” calendar year, which is actually almost exclusively that of the Roman Catholic religion. The third part is about liturgy and its relation to pastoral service and serves as sort of an application.

There are subject and name indices. Various illustrations and diagrammes help, although there are not as many visuals as I think a book of this length warrants. I think this book is valuable to those who are interested in the liturgy of the different religions. Otherwise, I would recommend taking a pass due to the confusing and sometimes dull nature of the text.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 28, 2015 – Shelved

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