Chapter

Performing Faith in the Creator: The Drama of the Divine Economy as the Framework of Devotional and Ritual Practices in the Early Church

Paul M. Blowers

in Drama of the Divine Economy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199660414
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745980 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660414.003.0009

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Performing Faith in the Creator: The Drama of the Divine Economy as the Framework of Devotional and Ritual Practices in the Early Church

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This chapter unfolds the “drama of the divine economy” in early Christian practices. Contemplation of nature aimed at a higher vision of the world within the Creator’s economy. Monks modeled this discipline but preachers like Basil and Ambrose commended it to a wider audience. Liturgical and sacramental practices amplified the dramatic character of the economy and the church’s (and individual Christian’s) role as dramatis persona. The formative Christian Pascha (Easter), as well as Sunday (the “eighth day”), honored the anniversary of creation and the dawn of the new creation. Baptism, shot through with typologies, ritually simulated new creation, while Eucharistic prayers (anaphoras) framed the celebration of the sacred repast within the broader drama of the divine economy. A final section explores early Christian practices of the wise “use” and “stewardship” of creation, framed against the background of patristic theological perspectives on humanity’s sovereignty and vocation in the economy of creation.

Keywords: contemplation of nature; book of creation; Pascha; sunday; eighth day; baptism; anaphora; new creation; stewardship

Chapter.  29575 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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