Worship as Meaning: A Liturgical Theology for Late Modernity

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How, in this age of belief, can we make sense of the act of Christian worship? Convinced that people shape their meanings from those available to them, Graham Hughes inquires into liturgical constructions of meaning, within the larger context of late twentieth-century meaning theory. Drawing particularly upon the work of Charles Peirce, Hughes employs semiotic theory to analyze the construction, transmission and apprehension of meaning within an actual worship service. This book will appeal to teachers and students of theology, clergy and informed lay Christians.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Hughes's book is a welcome call to disciplined reflection about the ways in which we worship and a challenge to the accepted pieties of most church traditions." Tim Gorringe, University of Exeter, Theology Today

"Worship As Meaning remains an important book that belongs on the essential reading list and will surely further the conversation in liturgical theology and liturgical hermeneutics." Anglican Theological Review, James Farwell, The General Theological seminary, New York City

"Hughes' work provides a movement toward an enhanced relationship between liturgy and semiotics." - Theological Studies, Thomas J. Scirghi, S.J., Jesuit School of Theology and Berkeley

"Hughes has ably introduced a theological readership to the difficult world of Peircean semiotics and given it a strong glimpse of its extremely fruitful potential for liturgical theology. Moreover, he has in an exemplary fashion pressed his readers to identify, diagnose and find solutions to their distinctive challenges presently facing Christian worshipping communities in theri meaning-making strategies. Finally, we are in Hughes' debt for showing us, albeit in a fragmentary and partial fashion, how the practical bearings of a number of 'semiotic habits' of Christian life might re-orient and re-shape the Christian body twoard God, the world and one another in ways that prove faithful to its best own most possibilities." - Jim Fodor, Department of Theology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521535571
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2003
  • Series: Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine Series, #10
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 340
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Hughes is Lecturer Emeritus in Liturgical Studies at United Theological College and Academic Associate at the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Sydney. He is the author of The Place of Prayer (1998), Beyond our Dreaming (1996), Leading in Prayer (1992) and Hebrews and Hermeneutics (CUP, 1981).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I The making of meaning
1 Meaning in worship 11
2 Meaning and modernity 43
3 Comprehending meaning 77
Pt. II Signs of wonder: a worship service as a semiotic system
4 The liturgical sign (i) 115
5 The liturgical sign (ii) 148
6 Sign-production, sign-reception 184
Pt. III As in an alien land: making sense of God in a disenchanted age
7 Liturgical theology 219
8 At the end of the known 255
Epilogue 300
Bibliography 303
Index 321
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