| Faculty of Catholic Theology, SPF Religion. Gesellschaft. Weltbeziehung., Forschung

Liturgy and Body - Insights into the current issue of "Theology of the Present"

To every liturgical celebration belongs an acting body. The inseparable connection between liturgy and corporeality is therefore considered in the latest issue of the journal series "Theology of the Present".

The relationship between liturgy and corporeality has occupied theology since the liturgical movement of the 20th century. In the course of the liturgical reform, the effort to find signs of the liturgy then brought the topic into discussion anew. Today's discourses on the body demand to deal again with the question what body/body means for the worship service and its theology. Every liturgical celebration includes an action with the body. There is no prayer without a body posture, no matter who speaks it: standing, bowing, spreading the hands, gesture of blessing are meaningful physical actions. Pouring water over the body, anointing and laying on of hands, kneeling and sitting, eating and drinking, even the ritualized reading of biblical texts must be mentioned when, as in this booklet, liturgy and body are asked about.

Acting with the body and corporeality are indispensable for anthropology as well as the theology of worship. Even something liturgically so fundamental as the anamnesis cannot do without physical action. No anamnestic prayer, such as a high prayer, can do without a rite - however small - related to the body. Three contributions discuss the different interaction between liturgy and body.

Ingrid Fischer, a liturgical scholar, turns to body language in prayer and with psalms. In these Old Testament texts, which are of fundamental importance for the liturgy, one encounters impressive linguistic images related to the body. Fischer shows what could be gained theologically and practically for the Liturgy of the Day if these images were more strongly perceived.

Lea Lerch presents different positions on body and faith practice from the liturgical movement. She examines how the renewal of the liturgy has also brought a new focus on the physical dimension, a perspective that is rather less in evidence in liturgical studies.

From a fundamental theological perspective, Saskia Wendel discusses the connection between faith practice and physical practice. Performativity, social form and spontaneity of the liturgy are related to it. - Two further contributions complete this booklet. Gabriele Zieroff asks about the significance of the wedding liturgy as locus theologicus. Ulrich Hemeln takes a critical look at the Vatican document Oeconomicae et Pecuniariae Quaestiones, published in 2018, from the perspective of economics and business.

"Theology of the Present"
The series "Theology of the Present" was founded in 1958. Its aim is to provide an insight into contemporary theological work and development on an international level. It is also intended to enable those active in practical pastoral care and faith mediation to evaluate the findings of specialist theology for their work. A broad spectrum would be achieved by always offering translations of articles from foreign journals and publications in addition to original articles. Since 1989 it has been published by Butzon & Bercker (Kevelaer).