Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Remembering the Future: The Experience of Time in Jewish and Christian Liturgy

Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review

Remembering the Future: The Experience of Time in Jewish and Christian Liturgy

Article excerpt

Remembering the Future: The Experience of Time in Jewish and Christian Liturgy. By Emma O'Donnell. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2015. xiv + 210 pp. $24.95 (paper).

This book is an excellent contribution to the contemporary liturgicaltheological discussion focused on the recovery of eschatological imagination. With her Jewish background and practicing Christian faith, Emma O'Donnell is eminently qualified to address the similarities and differences characterizing both traditions as they "are intimately related to the element of time." (p. 3) Her scholarship in regard to both Judaism and Christianity is wide-ranging and aptly applied to establishing her central point, namely, that "the consciousness of time allows the present to be infused with the past and the future and its boundaries to be opened into a transformed liturgical present" (p. 115).

Presented in five parts of two chapters each, and bracketed with a preface and epilogue, the book benefits by drawing biographically upon the articulated experience of those who pray in both Jewish and Christian contexts as well as presenting and explicating theological reflection from scholars of both traditions. The bibliography is extensive, multinational, and ecumenical in scope; for the Christian reader, it reflects a predominance of the best work of current Roman Catholic liturgical-theological scholarship. This is generally attributable to O'Donnell's own faith community, though Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, Orthodox, and Reformed perspectives are also present and handled with sensitivity and acuteness.

After a general consideration of the liturgical experience of time in part 1, the two chapters of the second part present reflections stemming from conversations with exemplary practitioners of prayer in Jewish and Christian contexts, respectively, the latter among monastics. …

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