Academic journal article Theological Studies

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works

Academic journal article Theological Studies

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works

Article excerpt

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works. By James K. A. Smith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.Pp. xx + 198. $22.99.

Smith has embarked on a three-volume study of what he calls "cultural liturgics," and this second book in the series follows his earlier Desiring the Kingdom. A philosophy professor in a denominational college, S. regards both Christian education and Christian worship as imparting a worldview that is geared toward action. In this regard, both are primarily formative rather than informative, and they work through the body and the imagination rather than through the intellect.

In part I S. uses Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception (ET 1962) to explain how we find ourselves as beings in the world through our bodies, and he uses Pierre Bourdieu's The Logic of Practice (ET 1990) to argue for the primacy of habituation over intellection. In part II he builds on the works of other philosophers (mainly phenomenologists) to show how we live immersed in images through which we interpret the meaning of existence and find purpose in life. …

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