Christian Symbol and Ritual: An Introduction / Edition 1

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Overview

In Christian Symbol and Ritual, Bernard Cooke and Gary Macy offer an accessible and engaging introduction to the topic written from a non-denominational perspective. Cooke and Macy demonstrate that celebration, ritual, and symbol are already central to our lives, even though most do not see their actions as symbolic or ritualistic. They connect central Christian symbols to the symbols and rituals already present in everyday life and place Christian theology in a familiar context. After discussing the characteristics and functions of rituals, they explore different kinds of ritual, including those of friendship, worship, and healing. The authors also examine such questions as how rituals establish and maintain power relationships, how "official" rituals are different from "popular" Christian rituals and devotions, and how Christian rituals function in the process of human salvation. Christian Symbol and Ritual is an invaluable resource for students, teachers, and lay readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A first-rate primer on the sacraments and the broader significance of ritual in human life." —Horizons
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195154122
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 791,692
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Macy is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of San Diego. He has published widely in the area of Christian ritual, including The Banquet's Wisdom: A Short History of the Theologies of the Lord's Supper, 2nd ed. (2005). Bernard Cooke is the Loyola Professor of Theology Emeritus at the College of the Holy Cross and author of many books, including Power and the Spirit of God: Toward an Experience-Based Pneumatology(2004).

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Table of Contents

Introduction : symbolism, root of ritual 3
1 Characteristics and functions of rituals 19
2 Rituals in the Christian context 35
3 Rituals of friendship 55
4 Rituals of Christian initiation 69
5 Rituals of prayer, worship, and the eucharist 87
6 Rituals of reconciliation 109
7 Rituals of service and ministry 119
8 Rituals for healing, suffering, death 147
Conclusion : Christian life as ritual 161
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