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2010 | 57 | 41-51

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WHAT IS THE SUBJECT MATTER OF LITURGICAL THEOLOGY? (Co jest przedmiotem teologii liturgicznej?)


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Kavanagh used to say that liturgy is 'doing the world the way the world was meant to be done.' The reason for reflecting upon a hermeneutic by which to appreciate liturgical theology has the practical consequence of wanting to realize the connection between Church and world, Christ and life, supernature and nature. Sacraments exist 'for the life of the world,' as Schmemann titles his book on the subject. The cultic activity of the Church is only the tip of a liturgical iceberg that breaks surface in cult and sacrament; the reality it celebrates is beyond our rational comprehension and requires an experiential knowledge. The massive reality that undergirds our ceremonies and services turns out to be the same reality that supports our existence and beckons us to deification. This approach to liturgical theology attempts to dilate both terms to permit grasping this. Then the liturgical light bursts out the doors of the temple to flood the world in transfiguring light; then the cosmos is seen theologically, as gift from God and raw material for eucharist; then man and woman are finally, fully understood in their role as cosmic priests; then time no longer drains into nothingness because the Eternal One has irrupted into it, and history becomes a training school for eternal happiness; then we discover why nothing finite will satisfy our appetite, because we are made in the image of God to grow into the likeness of God.



  • Theology Department at the University of Notre Dame, 339 Malloy Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA


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