Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Forthcoming liturgical study -- and a forthcoming NLM feature [NOW ACTIVE]

I wanted to share with the NLM readership news of a book forthcoming. I have already recently mentioned Professor Laszlo Dobszay's sequel to his popularly received work, The Bugnini Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform, and I would now like to bring you news of another forthcoming title, this time by the Rev. Dr. Laurence Hemming. Dr. Hemming is a deacon and an academic who has been involved in CIEL Oxford, is a founding member of the Society of St. Catherine of Siena, was involved in the Merton College training conference for priests interested in the usus antiquior, and more recently acted as deacon in the Solemn Mass offered in Westminster Cathedral.

Dr. Hemming is coming out with a new book, to be published by Continuum, which he expects to be released around this coming Easter (March-April 2008).

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe book, titled Worship as a Revelation: The Past, Present and Future of Catholic Liturgy, is the development of the 2007 Pluscarden Pentecost lectures, given by Dr. Hemming in May 2007 at Pluscarden Abbey in the north of Scotland to an audience of monks, university students, clergy and interested laity.

The book is comprised of the following:


The background to the reform of the liturgy that arose after the Second Vatican Council – what were its main motivations and effects? What were the underlying ideas, not just in the area of liturgy, but also philosophically? Where is Catholic liturgy today, and what have Catholics undergone, and what will they expect in the decades to come?

Chapter 1 – The History of Liturgical Reform 1911 – 2001

This chapter explores themes and issues that arise in the liturgical movement and which made themselves manifest in the character of the period of liturgical reform between 1911 and 2001. The understanding of liturgy that arises on the basis of a rationalistic understanding of the human self - the ways in which the sacred liturgy presumes and takes for granted certain understandings of the human self, scripture, and divine self-disclosure. The ambiguity of the legacy of the Tridentine reform in Catholic thought.

Chapter 2 – The Liturgical Movement

The figure of Dom Odo Casel OSB, and a strand of thinking that connects Christian worship with pre-christian, especially Greek thought. What the Liturgical Movement promised, and what actually happened. A missed opportunity, that through the recent actions of Benedict XVI has re-presented itself. Liturgy grounded in divine authority rather than in reason.

Chapter 3 – Liturgy and Revelation

This chapter is the ‘turning point’ of the book it takes up the understanding of revelation and its relation to the liturgy, and shows how the understanding of time that is presumed in all modern philosophical thought is challenged by the understanding of divine self-revelation that the young Fr. Joseph Ratzinger identified in the work of St. Bonaventure. It asks what our relation to litrugical events actually is and how we experience them.

Chapter 4 – Liturgy as Performance

Liturgy as performance and typology: this chapter will explore forgotten or hidden themes in patristic and mediaeval theology – especially in providing an exposition of the relationship between the rite of Mass with the liturgy of the hours, and will demonstrate how finding an access to these issues provides the possibility of overcoming the problems raised by a rationalistic approach to christian worship.

Chapter 5 - Liturgy as an Understanding of Time

The Liturgy as a Theology of Time. This chapter will provide an exposition of the title of the book, to explain what is given liturgically, to whom, and by what means. The central argument will be twofold: one, the question of the divine authorisation of all liturgical activity; two, the question of the way in which the liturgy makes man present to God in the concreteness of the liturgical forms that are actually given in present time: how the present makes manifest a perfect future.


How will Christian worship change now? Some thoughts and practical observations on the coming decades after the papacy of Benedict XVI

[Forthcoming NLM Feature: Because the NLM is often blessed to get this sort of preview information, it put to mind that a new sidebar section might be in order; one that would list forthcoming liturgical publications and when we might expect to see them. I hope you will find this feature of interest]

[UPDATE: This feature has now been added. See, "Forthcoming Liturgical Books and Studies" in the NLM sidebar.]

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