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New Perspectives on Worship Today

New Perspectives on Worship Today

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334011316
Published: 01/12/1978
In this evocative study, new perspectives are achieved by associating worship with topics with which it is not usually linked and by seeing it in new contexts. Thus to begin with worship is interpreted in terms oi'games theory, and later it is interpreted as a political act. In other chapters, worship is considered in relation to apparently disparate subjects: dance (does not dance detract from the supposed solemnity of worship?), sexuality (once inside the church door does one not have to suppose that we are all males?) and laughter (what, smiles in the sanctuary?). Behind the apparent arbitrariness there is a logical progression. Play, with which the analysis opens, is a matter of balance between freedom and rules. One activity which achieves this is dance, so that play leads on to dance and then to sexuality, since dance has an inescapable erotic quality. The kiss of peace has a possible sexual connotation, which calls for the paying of attention to harmony and conflict. Conflict relates to political struggle, and so on. From all this, the act of worship emerges, not as the following of fixed patterns, but as a creative act which demands the response of men's whole being in risk and involvement.

John Gordon Davies