Special Issue "Phenomenology and Liturgical Practice"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2021) | Viewed by 24091
Liturgical and ritual practice is at the heart of religious experience in many traditions. It shows that religion is not something abstract we believe or to which we simply assent, but rather an embodied experience that is expressed in our practices and actions. Phenomenology, as the study of human experience, is an especially appropriate tool for the description of such practices and for examining their meaning and significance more closely. Yet, very little study of religious practices or specifically liturgical experience has been undertaken in philosophy. And while liturgical theology and liturgical studies are certainly important fields of theological investigation, they are often relegated to the realm of “practical theology” or focus narrowly on the study of historical texts (or now obsolete rites) without exploring the significance of contemporary liturgical practice more fully. When such examination occurs in anthropological or psychological studies of ritual, the theological dimensions are not always taken sufficiently seriously or the study of particular rites is not necessarily connected to broader questions about the meaning and significance of liturgical practice for human religious experience.
The present issue will thus focus squarely on the issue of the meaning of liturgical practice in its various dimensions. Questions addressed might include: How can phenomenology be employed to analyze liturgical practices and rites, such as baptism, confession, eucharist, ordinations, prayer, fasting, etc.? How can it illuminate the embodied nature of worship, its sensory impact, or its relation to affect and emotion? What does it have to say about our experience of festal liturgies? Does festal practice constitute a special lens for investigating liturgical experience? What about the various “things” we employ for liturgical practice: candles, icons, vestments, water, oil, bread, wine, etc.? What role do they play in our experience of liturgy? What is the function of music or images in the experience of liturgy? How do personal devotional practices or individual prayer interact with or inform communal forms of worship? How is the “plural” or communal dimension of liturgy significant? What is liturgy ultimately supposed to do: to our minds and spirits, our affect and emotions, our senses and our bodies, our lives as a whole, to the world or our culture? How might phenomenology enable us to say something about concrete liturgical practices or the meaning of liturgical experience more broadly? Would an analysis of ritual practices illuminate what philosophy and religious studies can say about religion and its significance for human life?
Contributors are invited to investigate any dimension of the topic of interest to them: a phenomenological analysis of particular rites or practices; concrete depictions of the affective, corporeal, spatial, temporal, or communal dimensions of worship; or other questions at the intersection of phenomenology and liturgical practice. Phenomenology can be employed as a tool for the analysis of liturgy or be itself the question under investigation in light of liturgical practice. The use of a variety of phenomenological traditions or thinkers is perfectly acceptable. Contributors are invited to draw on phenomenological resources and thinkers for investigating liturgical practices or to engage in such analysis themselves without explicit recourse to particular thinkers or texts. The conversation between phenomenology and liturgical theology is only beginning, so new approaches and experimental investigations are welcome.
Prof. Dr. Christina M. Gschwandtner
Manuscript Submission Information
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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 1400 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.
- ritual practice
- religious experience