Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Eucharistic Liturgies: Their Evolution and Interpretation/The Origins of Feasts, Fasts and Seasons in Early Christianity

Academic journal article Anglican and Episcopal History

The Eucharistic Liturgies: Their Evolution and Interpretation/The Origins of Feasts, Fasts and Seasons in Early Christianity

Article excerpt

The Eucharistic Liturgies: Their Evolution and Interpretation. By Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson. (Collegeville, Minnesota: Litur-gical Press, 2012, Pp. xvi, 368. $39.95); The Origins of Feasts, Fasts and Seasons in Early Christianity. By Paul F. Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson. (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2011, Pp. xvi, 222. $29.95.)

Paul Bradshaw and Maxwell E. Johnson, professors of liturgy at University of Notre Dame, have each written and edited numerous works on Christian liturgy. In 2011 and 2012 they collaborated on two books: one on the evolution of the Eucharist and one on origins of feasts and fasts in the early Christian Church. Working from ancient texts from the 4th century through studies of Medieval and Renaissance records and works by contemporary scholars, they have pieced together the theories and practices that account for the way Christians worship.

In The Eucharistic Liturgies: Their Evolution and Interpretation, Bradshaw and Johnson cover the history of diverse Eucharistic practices beginning with the Last Supper and the first references to the commemoration of it in the first centuries afterwards including developments in the Eastern churches as well as a variety of Western rites like Gallican, Ambrosian, Mozarabic, as well as Roman. They include historical events and people who influenced change in the ritual and the interpretation of the Eucharist. Dense and thorough, I cannot imagine a more complete text for a serious student of the Eucharist. Bradshaw and Johnson have described the writings about the Eucharist from the shadowy and scantily recorded rites of the first century through a careful examination of the Eastern rites, the Reformation, and modem revisions. …

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