Full Text

liturgy and doctrine

GEOFFREY WAINWRIGHT


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631198963.2005.x


Extract

Liturgy is the corporate worship of the Christian churches, and doctrine is the churches' officially formulated teachings. Liturgy takes place in the gathered congregation as a ritual dialogue, in word and gesture, between God and the assembly of believers; its characteristic verbal forms include the reading of the Scriptures, the preaching of a sermon, the saying of prayers (of adoration, praise, thanksgiving, repentance, petition, offering, intercession), and the confession of faith (as in the recitation of creeds or in more spontaneous testimonies). Doctrine consists of statements made by the recognized teaching authorities within the churches concerning the content of the Christian faith, such as definitions agreed by ecumenical councils (for instance on God and Christ in the fourth and fifth centuries) or confessions emerging from movements of reform and renewal (for instance in the western church of the sixteenth century). In doctrinal statements a positive central core may be surrounded by the setting of boundaries, so that the faith is affirmed while alternatives are rejected (as in the refutation of non-Christian views) or warded off (as in the exclusion of opinions that internal debate has shown to be heretical). Both liturgy and doctrine involve, each in various ways, theological reflection; and reflective theology has, as part of its service to the churches, the task ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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