Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works
  • Alternative view 1 of Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works
  • Alternative view 2 of Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works

5.0 1
by James K. A. Smith
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

How does worship work? How exactly does liturgical formation shape us? What are the dynamics of such transformation? In the second of James K. A. Smith's three-volume theology of culture, the author expands and deepens the analysis of cultural liturgies and Christian worship he developed in his well-received Desiring the Kingdom. He helps us understand and

Overview

How does worship work? How exactly does liturgical formation shape us? What are the dynamics of such transformation? In the second of James K. A. Smith's three-volume theology of culture, the author expands and deepens the analysis of cultural liturgies and Christian worship he developed in his well-received Desiring the Kingdom. He helps us understand and appreciate the bodily basis of habit formation and how liturgical formation—both "secular" and Christian—affects our fundamental orientation to the world. Worship "works" by leveraging our bodies to transform our imagination, and it does this through stories we understand on a register that is closer to body than mind. This has critical implications for how we think about Christian formation.

Professors and students will welcome this work as will pastors, worship leaders, and Christian educators. The book includes analyses of popular films, novels, and other cultural phenomena, such as The King's Speech, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, and Facebook.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the second of three volumes on a theology of culture, Smith (Desiring the Kingdom) urges churches to move beyond pursuing liturgy as a means to an end and instead to understand the embodied aspects of worship—kneeling, standing, singing, the repetition of creeds—as ends in themselves. Through liturgical practices, worshippers develop habits that turn them toward enacting God’s shalom kingdom in the world. Arguing that we are guided primarily by imagination, which is primed through the conduit of the body, Smith maintains that the structure of church liturgies matter deeply in providing a counterweight to the liturgies of self-centeredness promoted in the larger culture. Churches that rely too heavily on word alone, or which conform to a mall-culture ethos, threaten to deny people the holistic formation a classic church liturgy provides. Smith uses literature, poetry, philosophy, and film to make a compelling case that it would behoove churches and seminaries to attend more closely to imagination and aesthetics rather than doctrine as central to developing an other-oriented Christian desire. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The second of a projected three volumes on Christian worship by Smith (philosophy, Calvin Coll.; Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation), this book focuses on the process through which liturgy, or scripted group participation in action, transforms its participants in both spiritual and secular contexts—making a difference in the way worshipers feel, think, and act in relationship to self, others, God, or a secular goal. Following philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Smith emphasizes the role of performance through body, perception, story, and imaginative participation in shaping both secular and Christian worldviews. He vivifies his discussion by analyzing contemporary literature, film, and human creativity as catalysts for worldview transformation. Good liturgy, says Smith, embodies habits of expression including bodily expression. Liturgies must not be simply the spouting of doctrine. Smith addresses both academic and more popular concerns in relation to his broader definition of liturgy. VERDICT An important book that may have wide appeal among serious readers in relation to secular education as well as Christian transformation.—Carolyn Craft, Emerita, Longwood Univ., Farmville, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801035784
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/15/2013
Series:
Cultural Liturgies Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
300,698
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, he is editor of Comment magazine and a senior fellow of the Colossian Forum. Smith is the author or editor of many books, including the Christianity Today Book Award winners Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, and is editor of the well-received The Church and Postmodern Culture series (www.churchandpomo.org).

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
"Oh my gosh, Tim! Are you a zombie?"