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The Language of Liturgy

A Ritual Poetics

The Language of Liturgy

A Ritual Poetics

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334055716
Number of Pages: 256
Published: 31/01/2018
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm

How language works in the worship of the church has been vigorously debated during the period of liturgical revision in the twentieth century coming at the end of what is known as the Liturgical Movement.

Focussing upon the Church of England and the Anglican tradition, this book traces the history of `liturgical language' as it begins in the Early Church, but with particular emphasis upon the English Reformation liturgies, their background in the Medieval Church and literature and their long and varied life in the Church of England after 1662.

Inter-disciplinary in scope, yet rooted in a literary approach, the volume provides a rigorous study of the effect of liturgy upon the theological and devotional life of the Church.

Part I: The Poetics of Liturgy

1. Poetry and the Language of Prayer and Worship  

2. The Poetics of Liturgy  

3. A Ritual Poetics and the Demands of Liturgical Language 

Part II: Language and Performance in the Liturgy of the Early Church

4. Liturgy and Performance  

5. Hippolytus and The Apostolic Tradition 

Part III: Medieval and Reformation England

6. Liturgical Language and the Vernacular in Late Medieval England  

7. Literature and the Prayer Books of the English Reformation 

Part IV: The Alternative Service Book and Common Worship

8. Language and Liturgical Revision in the Church of  England  

9. The Background to The Alternative Service Book  

10. From 1980 to Common Worship  

11. Reflections on the Eucharistic Body 


David Jasper

David Jasper is Professor of Literature and Theology at Glasgow University and Distinguished Overseas Professor at Renmin University of China, Beijing. He holds degrees from Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and Uppsala, and is Doctor of Divinity at Oxford and holds a doctorate in theology (h.c.) from Uppsala. He has published and lectured widely in the field of literature and theology and his most recent book is Literature and Theology as a Grammar of Assent (Routledge, 2016). He is an ordained Anglican priest.

"David Jasper is seeking both in the past and in the present for the sensitivity to language to be found in our cultures (if not as yet by 'liturgists') to make possible intercession, thanksgiving and delight in the glorification of God. A book both informative, challenging and to be taken  very seriously." -- Ann Loades CBE, Professor Emerita of Divinity, University of Durham UK and Honorary Professor in the School of Divinity, St Andrews University UK.