Liturgy as Literature

Bridget Nichols

in The Oxford Handbook of English Literature and Theology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199544486
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Liturgy as Literature

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Popular discussion often treats ‘liturgy’ and ‘worship’ as related but different entities. Liturgy is identified with text, worship with action; liturgy connotes intellectual activity, while worship suggests something affective and directly of the heart and spirit. This article refuses the distinction, and uses the two terms more or less interchangeably. In its most elementary form, it asks how liturgy can be admitted to the category of literature. The discussion takes up the question, broadening the scope from the kinds of liturgical texts that might be read as literature, to a consideration of how liturgical texts might be literary.

Keywords: Prayer Book; liturgy; worship; liturgical texts; literature

Article.  9093 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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