| Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät, SPF Religion. Gesellschaft. Weltbeziehung., Forschung

Publication on new challenges for liturgical science

The ecclesiastical and social contexts have been changing massively for some time. A recently published anthology deals with the new perspectives this opens up for liturgical studies. The editors Benedikt Kranemann, Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Erfurt, and Stephan Winter, Professor at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Tübingen, have brought together contributions from authors from various disciplines of university theology and from church practice.

Today's subject of liturgical studies, whose beginnings lie in the Enlightenment, deals with the history and theology of worship and other religious rituals. In the last century, especially after the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), it has experienced a specific profiling, especially oriented towards pastoral questions within the Church. However, especially in the last 50 years, the forms in which Christian faith is lived and celebrated have become much more diverse, while some traditional practices have become less important. Especially the new places of worship and prayer, as they have formed in different areas of the public sphere and as part of civil society action – partly in the interaction of different religions – are interesting objects of research. Some of these places are stable, others are constantly being redefined, many are time-bound. Accordingly, liturgy today is discussed more broadly theologically and in the so-called humanities than it was just a few decades ago.

All this poses new challenges for liturgical scholarship, which is "on the move", as the title of the book says, and in a process of reorientation. It must fundamentally rethink and reformulate what was previously regarded as certain. It must critically and constructively accompany the transformation processes to which contemporary liturgy and worship rituals are subjected. Among other things, the contributions to the anthology take up the following specific questions, which are long overdue for discussion: What can a proper study of liturgical history and the theology of liturgy look like today? What profile must a liturgical scholarship interested in the practice of worship have today? What does the subject contribute to scientific theology as a whole, and to the humanities and cultural studies? What is its task vis-à-vis church and society?

According to the editors in their introduction to the book, the anthology wants to "initiate a debate that is naturally directed at the academic discipline, its self-understanding and its significance, but is equally interested in liturgy itself". Last but not least, it aims to draw attention once again to the relevance of research in liturgical studies: to "the weight that a theological discipline possesses far beyond the internal space of the church, which deals with celebration, ritual, symbol, the aesthetics of faith, etc.".

Benedikt Kranemann & Stephan Winter (eds.)
Im Aufbruch. Liturgie und Liturgiewissenschaft vor neuen Herausforderungen
Münster: Aschendorff, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-402-24824-9
250 pages
24,80 EUR