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The New Westminster dictionary of liturgy and worship /

Other Authors: Davies, J. G. 1919-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Philadelphia : Westminster Press, 1986
Edition: 1st American ed.
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Review by Choice Review

This important and informative dictionary was first published in 1972 (Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship, ed. by J.G. Davies, CH, Apr '73). This completely revised edition reflects the growing interest in liturgy and worship that are at the heart of the church and that reflect many of the changes in theology, mission, and growing unity of Christian concerns and cooperation over the past 14 years. In signed articles by more than 100 British and American, Catholic and Protestant, evangelical and liberal scholars, the whole panorama and rich variety of the life of today's church are reflected. Articles treat the practice and theology of worship in every Christian tradition from Orthodox to Jehovah's Witnesses, and cover ``Jewish Worship,'' ``Worship on the Media,'' ``Women and Worship,'' and ``Children and Worship.'' Articles vary in length from a single paragraph to more than 30 pages. Most are accompanied by up-to-date bibliographies. There are excellent diagrams and good photographs. An indispensable guide to the study of the way the church worships around the world as well as the tradition out of which our current practice has sprung. Highly recommended for undergraduate, graduate, seminary, and Bible school courses in theology, church history, and liturgics.-H.T. Hutchinson, Duquesne University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

This dictionary of types of worship and terms associated with Christian worship and liturgy revises and updates the Westminster Dictionary of Worship (Westminster, 1979), also published in Great Britain as Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship (Macmillan, 1972). This new edition is published in Great Britain as A New Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship. Editor J. G. Davies, who also edited the first edition, is a professor of theology and director of the Institute for the Study of Worship and Religious Architecture at the University of Birmingham. Most of the more than 100 other contributors are also from academic backgrounds, and nearly two-thirds are from Great Britain. Nearly half of the contributors were not involved in the production of the previous edition. Although brief entries treat worship in non-Christian traditions, the emphasis is clearly on Christian worship and liturgy. Worship practices of most major Christian denominations are covered in separate articles, written by individuals representative of those denominations. Major articles on topics such as Baptism, Burial, Ordination, and Liturgies are actually a series of shorter essays on denominational positions and practices, also written by denominational representatives. Entries range from single-sentence definitions to multipage treatments of topics, such as Architectural Setting and Liturgical Movement. For the most part, larger articles on general topics such as Vestments or Canonical Hours are used instead of brief entries for individual terms such as stole or vespers. Cross-references lead from the most significant terms to general articles with information about them and to articles on related subjects. Brief bibliographic references accompany most entries. The new edition includes more than 70 articles not in the first edition. Among the notable new topics are aspects of worship relating to many special interest groups, such as children, blind persons, and women; liturgical dance; cremation; inclusive language; and coverage of certain religious groups, such as the Mormons and Shakers. The occasional black-and-white photographs and line drawings are nearly identical to those in the first edition. The primarily British authorship is evident in the coverage of a number of topics. The entries House Churches, Choir (Musical), and School Worship refer only to British practices, while the four-page article Media, Worship on the barely mentions worship in the American media. Relatively common American liturgical terms such as parament and flagon are not defined, nor are Eastern church terms such as apolysis and sticheron. The Plymouth Brethren, a small British sect, is covered extensively, while the Mennonites, a much larger North American group, are not mentioned. Coverage of formal liturgical practices, particularly in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches, is much better than that of less formal practices. For instance, the Roman Catholic ritual of benediction is explained in detail, but the usage of the same term to signify a parting blessing in many American Protestant churches is not even noted. Folk music worship services are barely alluded to in articles on experimental worship and popular music in worship, even though such services are extremely common in many American churches from a variety of denominational backgrounds. The articles Candles, Lamps and Lights and Chalice and Paten note only practices in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches, even though these items are used by many different groups. Although no comparable dictionary of liturgy and worship exists, other reference works do address many of the topics covered here. The Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Terms (Nelson, 1962) includes brief definitions of most of the specialized terms found in The New Westminster Dictionary. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford, 1974) contains slightly less detailed coverage of significant worship and liturgy concepts th

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.