Liturgy as a Way of Life: Embodying the Arts in Christian Worship
Available April 15th, 2013
Baker Academic’s Series: The Church and Postmodern Culture
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group | On the web
Philosopher Bruce Ellis Benson explores how the arts inform and cultivate service to God, helping the church to not only think differently about the arts but also act differently. He contends that we are all artists, that our very lives should be seen as art, and that we should live liturgically in service to God and neighbor.
Working from the biblical structure of call and response, Benson rethinks what it means to be artistic and recovers the ancient Christian idea of presenting oneself to God as a work of art. Rather than viewing art as practiced only by the few, Benson argues that we are all called by God to be artists. He reenvisions art as the very core of our being: we are God’s own art, and God calls us to improvise as living and growing works of art. Benson also examines the nature of liturgy and connects art and liturgy in a new way.
This book will appeal to philosophy, worship/liturgy, art, music, and theology students as well as those who are interested in engaging issues of worship and aesthetics in a postmodern context.
Yet liturgy is (to cite the literal meaning of the term) truly “work,” for it requires that we work hard to “hear God’s voice and to move into a posture of worship. To say that worship is improvisational means that we must be constantly seeking new ways of declaring God’s glory and new ways of hearing God’s voice. – From the Introduction
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Art of Living
1. The Call and the Response
2. Deconstructing the Discourse of Art
3. Improvising Like Jazz
4. On Not Being an Artistic Whore
5. Becoming Living Works of Art