Worship and Faith Formation

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 7619

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Korea Theological Seminary, Cheonan 31071, Korea
Interests: liturgy; faith formation; sacramental theology; religious education; neuroscience; disability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

This Special Issue is open to any topical study of worship and faith formation. Interdisciplinary works and those connecting the practical things that can happen in the field of worship will be welcomed. For the 21st century, I hope to give practical insight to the religious community that is at the crossroads of survival and regression in the post-COVID-19 era. I look forward to the active participation of many scholars around the world.

How is faith formed? The Bible says that faith is a gift from God. This means that any particular ritual or liturgy cannot guarantee the formation of faith. To assert that any particular religious act guarantees the birth of faith is tantamount to falling into liturgical Pelagianism. Nevertheless, worship and the formation of faith are closely related. In the place of worship, God is present, and something is happening in the place where elements and ordo of worship are performed.

The following questions are suggestive of themes to be explored  in this Special Issue:

  • How is faith formed in worship?
  • How do the Word and the Lord's Supper, prayers and offerings, confession of faith and hymns in worship affect the formation of faith in individuals and communities?
  • How do ceremonies and rituals affect the formation of faith?
  • How does the audience in the pew learn about religious knowledge?
  • From a view of neuroscience, what is going on in people’s minds and consciousness in the worship? 
  • What role does worship play in the faith-forming process of children, young people, middle-aged people, the elderly, and people with intellectual disabilities?
  • What is the relationship between personal faith formation and community faith formation?
  • How do the religious ceremonies of all generations, which have recently been receiving attention, affect the formation of faith?
  • How is one’s ethical self formed through worship?
  • In the context of the 21st century, and after the recent pandemic, what has been the status of worship and faith?

These questions clearly show how interdisciplinary research is needed on the matter of worship and faith formation, and how it calls for dialogue and cooperation. In addition to liturgical studies, it is necessary to creatively fuse methodologies and theories of many disciplines, such as religious education, Christian ethics, psychology, behavioral philosophy, practical theory, ritual studies, neuroscience, church music, sacramental theology, etc.I hope that you will consider contributing to this project. If you are interested in this project, please submit a proposed title and an abstract of 300–400 words summarizing your intended contribution. Please send your abstract to the Religions Editorial Office ([email protected]) or to me, the Guest Editor ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed to ensure the topics fit the scope of the Special Issue. The due date for abstracts is December 31 2022, with completed essays due March 31, 2023.

Dr. Hwarang Moon
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.

Keywords

  • worship
  • liturgy
  • faith formation
  • ritual studies
  • practical theology
  • religious education

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

22 pages, 338 KiB  
Article
The Role of Baptism in Christian Identity Formation
by Michael D. O’Neil
Religions 2024, 15(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040458 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1070
Abstract
The construction of one’s identity in late modernity is sometimes viewed as a project of the autonomous self in which one’s identity may shift or change over the course of one’s existence and development. For the Christian, however, one’s identity is both a [...] Read more.
The construction of one’s identity in late modernity is sometimes viewed as a project of the autonomous self in which one’s identity may shift or change over the course of one’s existence and development. For the Christian, however, one’s identity is both a divine gift, and a task of ecclesial formation, and for both the gift and the task, Christian baptism is fundamental. Baptism represents the death of the self and its rebirth in Christ, a decisive breach with the life that has gone before. Baptism establishes a new identity, a new affiliation, a new mode of living, and a new life orientation, direction, and purpose. This paper explores the role of baptism in the formation of Christian identity, finding that Christian identity is both extrinsic to the self and yet also an identity into which we are called and into which we may continually grow. The essay proceeds in three sections. It begins with a survey of recent philosophical reflection on the concept of identity, continues by reflecting on the nature of Christian baptism in dialogue with this reflection, and concludes by considering in practical terms how baptism functions in the process of conversion–initiation toward the formation of mature Christian identity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worship and Faith Formation)
14 pages, 567 KiB  
Article
Mass of the Ages 18–39: The Sudden Revival of the Tridentine Latin Mass and Lessons for a More Robust Post-Conciliar Theological Aesthetics in Liturgy
by Sean C. Thomas
Religions 2024, 15(4), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040439 - 31 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1402
Abstract
The Tridentine Latin Mass (TLM) is rapidly growing in popularity. The movement that has formed around it has grown so attached to it as to threaten the unity of the Catholic Church. I attended TLMs in multiple distinct settings, studied the worshippers’ ordinary [...] Read more.
The Tridentine Latin Mass (TLM) is rapidly growing in popularity. The movement that has formed around it has grown so attached to it as to threaten the unity of the Catholic Church. I attended TLMs in multiple distinct settings, studied the worshippers’ ordinary theology, and proceeded hermeneutically using the Circle Method. The most useful insight to emerge from this is that the theological aesthetics of the post-Conciliar Mass could be more deeply symbolic and synergistic with Conciliar intellectual theology. The TLM’s aesthetics offer worshippers assurances of certainty, but these assurances are empty. Therefore, parishes should facilitate the self-expression of the faithful, both to foster engagement with mystery and to inspire liturgical aesthetics. From these expressions, contextually meaningful symbols will emerge, which, through communal discernment guided by the Holy Spirit, may prove worthy to the task of enhancing liturgical aesthetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worship and Faith Formation)
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9 pages, 200 KiB  
Article
Preaching the Ecclesiological Gospel Amidst a Syndemic Context
by Seyeom Kim
Religions 2024, 15(3), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030347 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 701
Abstract
As the proliferation of new variations of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) continues to increase, it is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Indeed, we are living in a world of interrelating and overlapping pandemics—a syndemic. A syndemic accelerates the polarization of [...] Read more.
As the proliferation of new variations of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) continues to increase, it is evident that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Indeed, we are living in a world of interrelating and overlapping pandemics—a syndemic. A syndemic accelerates the polarization of access to health care, financial support, and education opportunities in marginalized communities, and the polarization breeds social injustice, violence, and ignorance. What, then, is the Gospel the Church proclaims for those who have experienced the pandemic and are now facing a syndemic? As part of a liturgical response, this paper proposes preaching as a praxis of the ecclesiological Gospel. The ecclesiological Gospel is a term I suggest to highlight the contextual, sacramental, and communal aspects of the Gospel. Highlighting God’s holistic work for salvation represented in baptism and the eucharist, the ecclesiological Gospel yearns to form a church that baptizes people in diversity, that severs evil interconnections, and that welcomes people to the table of hospitality that forms a new covenantal relationship. This paper examines the concept of a syndemic and its significance for preaching in marginalized communities. It contrasts a holistic Gospel perspective with a narrow view, proposes preaching as praxis of the ecclesiological Gospel, and illustrates its application within a particular context in responding to syndemic conditions. I hope this work offers a chance to reorient the meaning of the Gospel and the identity of the Church for people living in fear, grief, and hopelessness, while encouraging them with the unwavering hope revealed in Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worship and Faith Formation)
10 pages, 278 KiB  
Article
Formation of Korean Christianity through the Banning of Ancestral Rites
by Shinhyung Seong
Religions 2024, 15(3), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15030280 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 950
Abstract
This study explores the ways in which a ban on ancestral rites influenced Korean Christianity. Ancestral rites are religious ceremonies that form the most critical social basis of Joseon, a Confucian society. First, the Korean Catholic Church was the first to oppose ancestral [...] Read more.
This study explores the ways in which a ban on ancestral rites influenced Korean Christianity. Ancestral rites are religious ceremonies that form the most critical social basis of Joseon, a Confucian society. First, the Korean Catholic Church was the first to oppose ancestral rites. Catholics created a new social and ethical resonance in Joseon society but had to endure tremendous persecution. Second, Protestantism was introduced when Joseon society was the most confused. Protestant missionaries banned ancestral rites, and Korean Protestants accepted them. Gradually, they interpreted it and embodied it in their faith. The ban on ancestral rites contributed to the formation of Korean Christianity. This laid the foundation for Christian social ethics and Hyo (孝, Xiao (Chinese pronunciation), filiality) theology. It has expanded into various fields, such as systematic theology, biblical studies, practical theology, and liturgical practice. Thus, this study examines how the ban on ancestral rites in Korea had a profound impact on the contextualization of Korean Christianity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worship and Faith Formation)
11 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
A Comedian in the Pulpit: Empowering the Use of Humor in Preaching
by Philmont Devon Bostic
Religions 2023, 14(9), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14091155 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Each week, the preacher mounts the pulpit with many tools to deliver an impactful sermon. One element of preaching that the black church should embrace is humor. Humor and preaching may appear strange bedfellows, but humor is embedded in the art of black [...] Read more.
Each week, the preacher mounts the pulpit with many tools to deliver an impactful sermon. One element of preaching that the black church should embrace is humor. Humor and preaching may appear strange bedfellows, but humor is embedded in the art of black preaching. This study explores humor within the confines of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worship and Faith Formation)
12 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
With Whom Should One Worship? A Fresh Perspective on John Calvin’s Liturgical Theology of Physical Proximity and Spiritual Epidemic
by Sam Ha
Religions 2023, 14(8), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14081073 - 21 Aug 2023
Viewed by 882
Abstract
COVID-19 has taught us that whom one surrounds oneself with has a profound influence on one’s well-being. In that light, does whom we worship with matter as well? John Calvin would in fact argue that the people we physically worship with have a [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has taught us that whom one surrounds oneself with has a profound influence on one’s well-being. In that light, does whom we worship with matter as well? John Calvin would in fact argue that the people we physically worship with have a great impact on our spiritual life. According to Calvin, if you simply worship with (who he deemed to be) the unrighteous group of people, you will lose your spiritual health or even endanger salvation. This is why he was so insistent on asking the French Protestants to leave France and join him in Geneva. What is striking is that worshipping with the right kind of people does not have that automatic effect. Rather, they have to actively engage in many beneficial activities together, encouraging and empowering one another. This is because, for Calvin, while unrighteousness itself is highly contagious, growing in a nurturing community takes conscious and purposeful effort. In this sense, Calvin explains that idolatry and unrighteousness were a spiritual epidemic that is spread physically, while true piety is acquired through a communal practice of many forms of spiritual exercises. This article will have many important contributions to the field of worship and faith formation. Most notably, while scholars have long been addressing Calvin’s view of active practices during worship which help faith formation, I will show that that is not all there is. Instead, I will demonstrate how even simple physical proximity in worship can have an impact on one’s spiritual growth in Calvin’s thought. Another important contribution of this article would be offering a clearer presentation of Calvin’s sacramental theology of body and soul. Scholars have long been arguing that, for Calvin, the bodily participation in a Roman Catholic mass while believing in (what was for him) the true gospel was a serious sin of idolatry and hypocrisy. My article will further develop this idea by noting that, according to Calvin, not only is it wrong to do one thing with one’s body and another with one’s soul but having one’s body in a negative environment is harmful to one’s soul. If one’s body is surrounded by other people who do not believe in the true gospel, it would have a devastating impact on one’s soul. In other words, for Calvin, the body and soul influence each other in a way that has sacramental and developmental implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worship and Faith Formation)
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