Monday, December 13, 2010
Liturgical Arts and the Formation of Virtue: Part 1
The following are thoughts that I've been chewing on all semester long. In this essay I discuss liturgical art, by which I mean art employed in the context of corporate worship, Sam Wells' book Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics, William Cavanaugh's book Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ, and the question of how the liturgical arts might form virtue in our congregations. While this essay may feel technical at points, my hope is that its ideas are helpful to pastors and artists alike. It is also a sort of prologue to ideas that I explored throughout the autumn.
All art included in this entry hung at one time on the walls of Hope Chapel. I only become more deeply grateful to the artists at Hope Chapel as the years put distance between me and my experience there.
liturgical calendar.” Two things were unusual about this practice, and two questions nag me still. The first unusual thing is that Hope Chapel is an independent church, broadly situated in the stream of evangelical Pentecostalism. By itself this is not an unusual fact. But the moment Hope Chapel adopted the liturgical calendar, its independent status, I would like to suggest, was both challenged and reconfigured.
What does this have to do with corporate worship?
While I respond positively to this idea, Wells’ last statement raises a few questions for me.