Nicholas E.Denysenko

The People's Faith

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Works of liturgical theology tend to be produced by experts who draw from the sources and explain the meaning of the liturgy to the lay people. When such explanations are firmly grounded in the sources, the academy accepts and celebrates them as genuine works of liturgical theology. Liturgical theology requires an examination from a different perspective: the lay people's. How do the lay people explain their understanding of the liturgy in their own words? Drawing from the results of parish focus groups and a clergy survey, The People’s Faith presents the liturgical theology of the lay people in the Orthodox Churches of America.
The People’s Faith presents original findings on how ordinary laity experience the Divine Liturgy, Holy Communion, Lent and Easter, liturgical change, and gender roles in the Liturgy. The author brings the laity’s views into dialog with the prevailing liturgical theology in the Orthodox Church and identifies several topics worthy of theological reflection. The people’s veneration for tradition tops a list of liturgical issues worthy of further research, including ecumenical aspects of the Eucharist, the relationship between liturgy and theological anthropology, and a desire to receive divine compassion during ritual celebration.

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