Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Christian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis

Article excerpt

Ritualizing Nature: Renewing Chnstian Liturgy in a Time of Crisis. By H. Paul Santmire. Theology and the Sciences Series. Minneapolis, Minn.: Fortress Press, 2008. xvi + 311 pp. $25.00 (paper).

Paul Santmire is a known writer in the area of ecological theology. In 1970 he published Brother Earth: Nature, God, and Ecology in a Time of Crisis. More recently Santmire outlined his own theology of nature in Nature Reborn: The Ecological and Cosmic Prornise of Christian Theology (2000). With the appearance of Ritualizing Nature Santmire enters the arena of liturgical theology, with his message of how historic Christian worship, rooted in its classic forms and emphases, can contribute to an amelioration, perhaps even a reversal, of the crisis he has long described.

In the present work Santmire sees the world "primarily in terms of its divine promise, to be consummated when the end of all things arrives" (p. xiv). He acknowledges that "historic" Christianity has been of two minds regarding nature: one mind that can be considered "nature-friendly" and another that has been captivated by a "modern industrial worldview" (p. 7).

Those of us who understand liturgy both as primary and secondary kerygmatic theology will appreciate Santmire s conviction that the ritual of the Christian assembly is "a ritual for countercultural formation" (p. 35). The prevailing culture, both secular and, in many cases, religious, is "anthropocentric" and understands creation primarily as the stage upon which the divine history is played out, a medium to be used not an end in itself (pp. 6972). It is Santmires hope that contemporary ecumenical and "confessional" theolog)' has begun to move toward a more "natural" theolog)' that sees humans and the rest of creation in a life-giving and world-sustaining partnership. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.