Litrgy, Time, and the Politics of Redemption


The "Radical Traditions" series cuts new lines of enquiry across a confused array of debates concerning the place of theology in the modern world. The series invites Jewish, Christian and Islamic theologians back to the word, recovering modes of scriptural reasoning that underlie modernist reasoning. The latest in series, "Liturgy, Time and the Politics of Redemption" is divided into five parts - Liturgical Acts, Liturgical Time, Liturgical Scrolling, Liturgical Improvisation, and Liturgical Silence - each featuring essays about a different aspect of Jewish or Christian liturgy. Among the highlights: In the first part, Peter Ochs invites readers to participate in a thought experiment that demonstrates how the act of reciting Jewish Morning Prayer has the potential for reorienting our view of the world. Sam Wells presents an improvisational reading of the "Book of Esther" in the section entitled Liturgical Improvisation. He illustrates how the idea of "overacceptance" characterizes Christian engagement with the world. In the section entitled Liturgical Silence, Oliver Davies imports two Russian words for silence (molchanie and tishina) to illumine what he calls "the silence of the cross." Taken together, the essays challenge the modern and postmodern understandings of time that Western culture takes for granted and pose alternatives that, to quote coeditor Randi Rashkover, "have the capacity to redefine sociality and choreograph the redemption of time through political acts of liturgical life."

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