Special Issue "Multicultural Worship: Theory and Practice"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Theologies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Eunjoo Mary Kim
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80210, USA
Interests: intercultural communication; multicultural worship; postcolonial homiletics; Asian American feminist and other liberation theologies; practical theology; spiritual leadership; ecofeminism; disability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We live in an unprecedently globalized multicultural world in the 21st century. Christian churches and worship leaders are challenged to be conscious of the significant impact of multiculturalism within and beyond the church and provide worshipers with theologically faithful and culturally appropriate worship services. As a response to these challenges, this Special Issue deals with various multicultural issues emerging from contemporary liturgical contexts: What is multicultural worship? Why should Christian worship be multicultural? How can multicultural worship be designed to be relevant to a particular liturgical context? How can liturgical elements (e.g., worship space, symbols, language, sermons, prayers, music, and sacraments) be prepared from the multicultural perspective? This Special Issue aims to help worship leaders and scholars explore these questions and develop their theology and method of multicultural worship.

The scope of this Special Issue includes five areas: (1) worship in multiracial or multiethnic contexts; (2) worship in monoracial or monoethnic contexts; (3) worship in multigenerational contexts; (4) worship in ecumenical contexts; and (5) worship in multireligious contexts. You are invited to write an article focusing on one of these areas with a critical analysis of the current practice of worship in that area. For example, you may choose area (1) and investigate what is going on in worship among multicultural congregations and interpret why this is going on. You are also expected to articulate a theology of multicultural worship in terms of its nature, purpose, and character appropriate to multicultural congregations and propose creative liturgical ideas and strategies for the practice of multicultural worship in a particular liturgical context. In addition, a sample liturgy with annotations that call attention to distinctive liturgical characteristics and explanations about the specific liturgical context and theme should be attached to your article. Biblical, historical, socio-cultural, religious, aesthetic, or other scientific research may be necessary to developing your theory and practice of multicultural worship.

While there are some resources available to study multicultural worship, this Special Issue uniquely contributes to the study of multicultural worship with diverse approaches to various liturgical contexts. I invite you to contribute an article to this Special Issue to make it an invaluable resource for teaching and learning multicultural worship.

Prof. Dr. Eunjoo Mary Kim
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • multiculturalism
  • worship
  • liturgy
  • theology of worship
  • multicultural worship
  • Christian worship
  • intergenerational worship
  • ecumenical worship
  • interfaith worship
  • bilingual worship
  • joint worship

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Potting Christianity: Ecumenical Worship in Its Multicultural and Multi-Ethnic Context
Religions 2022, 13(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13010073 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 56
In the gardening world, potting refers to the cultivation of plants by cutting, layering, and replacing nutrients-depleted soil with new soil in larger pots to accommodate the growth process. This understanding seems helpful in describing ecumenical worship. There are two perspectives about this [...] Read more.
In the gardening world, potting refers to the cultivation of plants by cutting, layering, and replacing nutrients-depleted soil with new soil in larger pots to accommodate the growth process. This understanding seems helpful in describing ecumenical worship. There are two perspectives about this phenomenon. On one end of the liturgical practice spectrum, it is perceived as a “least-common-denominator” worship form where contested expressions are cast aside and replaced by elements that are acceptable by everyone. As a result, ecumenical worship is held up as a product of complex negotiation but displays a remarkable lack of spiritual depth in its outcome. On the other end, there is the World Council of Churches—a fellowship of 350 churches that is regarded as the epitome of ecumenism in practice particularly its worship celebration. The assembly, convened every eight years, is seen as a “best practice” showcase for ecumenical worship. In fact, many of the “global songs” being sung by our congregation were premiered in this ecumenical setting. How might we make sense of these perceptions? To that end, this article seeks to describe a suitably appropriate method in planning ecumenical worship and to identify elements that this worship genre needs to consider in its rendition. The efforts of the 2022 assembly worship planning committee of the World Council of Churches serves as the case study. Theo-liturgical principles that define this worship design are examined and discussed. By this, insights may be garnered to help local congregations appreciate this distinctive liturgical form that has its raison d’etre as an expression of Christian reconciliation and unity and to understand what is needed to successfully design such services. In so doing, the work of congregations may be strengthened to face the resurgence of racism and xenophobia in their local contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multicultural Worship: Theory and Practice)
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