Seminars are at the heart of our Annual Meeting. These working groups foster the scholarly exchange of our members on a wide variety of liturgical topics. Seminar members actively support and learn from one another in and sometimes across our chosen specialties within the wider fields of liturgical studies and allied disciplines.
The goal of this seminar is to work ecumenically for the expansion of the season from four to seven weeks. This seminar seeks to collect, collate and/or produce and provide appropriate Advent worship and homiletical resources for clergy, church musicians, and congregations; also to author as well as solicit scholarship that will support and interpret this proposal for liturgical renewal.
Suzanne W. Duchesne
Our seminar asks questions that stand at the intersection of a classicordo for Christian Initiation and the ongoing formation of the church. What is the vision for the church inherent within these rites? How is that intention both supported and resisted by the church? What historical sources inform us?
A small seminar of people who read and react to one another’s scholarship, focusing on the intersections of liturgical studies with recent discourses such as but not limited to post-modernism, post-structuralism and critical theory.
This seminar explores the ways in which ecological consciousness/practices and liturgical consciousness/practices intersect and contextualize each other, and develops articles/resources on this topic for use by scholars and practitioners of worship.
Lisa E. Dahill
The Environment and Art Seminar Group takes its work into the field visiting a variety of worship spaces in the locale of each national meeting. During these visits the members discuss the various spaces as to their suitability for active participation in worship. In addition, members also make slide presentations and occasionally present papers for discussion.
Martin V. Rambusch
This seminar is a scholarly application of the lex orandi, lex credendi axiom. It devotes its sessions to the study of both the classical Eucharistic Prayers and to the new Eucharistic Prayers of modern or relatively modern national, ethnic or church groups. The studies, based on papers written by members of the group, or on Eucharistic Prayers written or selected by them, have alternatively a literary and a theological focus, depending on the nature of the work being discussed.
The members of and visitors to this seminar track developments in “contemporary” worship (seeker services, praise-and-worship services, convergence worship, and “traditional” services that “blend” in elements from these other kinds of services). We research particular faith communities’ worship, as well as the general trends in worship and music styles, liturgical art, architecture, and seminary education for those preparing to become worship leaders in these worship settings, Protestant and Catholic.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Cowan
The Feminist Studies in Liturgy Seminar examines existing and new liturgies from a feminist perspective, and invites participants to explore new metaphors and new styles of liturgical expression and leadership. Our commitment to inclusiveness leads us to consider not only texts but also gesture, environment, music and all aspects of embodied worship. Our studies include the connections among formal worship, the academy and the larger society.
The Formation for Liturgical Prayer seminar is shaped by a commitment to cultivating a profound awareness and analysis of the forces that affect formation for liturgical prayer. To achieve this purpose, the seminar members reflect, study, and dialogue on the ecclesial, social, psychological, pastoral, and cultural conditions that bear upon the celebration of liturgy. Embedded in the mission of the seminar is the development of scholarly writing to support the vision of the seminar.
Margaret Schreiber, OP
The Issues in Medieval Liturgy Seminar devotes itself to the scholarly study of liturgical and devotional life in the Middle Ages. The time period stretches from the late patristic through the renaissance/reformation. The group is interested in any prayer activity of the period which includes both liturgical and devotional. Two sorts of presentations are encouraged: finished papers awaiting publication and works in progress which will benefit from the work in seminar.
The intent of this group is to engage in critical exploration of how we know what liturgical celebrations mean, with a view to learning how liturgy might better work to build a spiritually renewed community. Toward that end, the group will review current understandings of how liturgy means, with attention to pertinent pastoral projects.
The Liturgical Language Seminar attends to issues of the language of worship by examining liturgical texts, considering scholarly essays, and discussing ideas and issues related to liturgical language. We welcome guest presenters and occasional participants, as well as Academy visitors and regular members. We occasionally meet jointly with another seminar, and sometimes we sing. We also strive to maintain a seminar group of a manageable size to encourage full and active participation by all.
The Music Seminar devotes its sessions to discussion of liturgy and ritual music 1) through papers by members of the group, 2) around issues, projects and studies about music in rites and 3) by examining new and emerging resources, i.e., hymn collections and musical settings for liturgy.
Heather Josselyn-Cranson, OSL
This seminar explores a wide range of topics and issues in the field of liturgical theology, with attention to theology of liturgy (theological reflection on particular worship practices), theology informed by liturgy (liturgy as a source for theological reflection), and doxological theology (theology oriented toward worship). Our sessions include discussion of papers and discussion of a book read in common.
This seminar puts existing forms of liturgical theology into dialogue with the “new comparative theology,” new theories of religion and religious plurality, and studies of multiple religious belonging and inter-rituality, in order to explore the questions: Is a comparative or inter-religious liturgical theology possible? If so, what forms would it take? And what might be gained by such a project?
The Rev. James W. Farwell, Ph.D.
The Liturgy and Cultures seminar probes both the cultural context of North American worship practices and the relationship of worship and culture in a variety of cultures outside of North America, drawing on works in liturgical theology, history, cultural theory, music and the arts, and several related disciplines.
The work of the Modern History of Worship Seminar focuses on analyzing the history, theology, and practice of worship from the 16th century to the present with an emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches and methods and practical application for the church today.
Katharine E. Harmon
Participants in the Queering Liturgy seminar share work at the intersection of LGBTQ religious studies, queer theory and liturgical studies. We seek to discern and develop the ways in which queer sensibilities shape and transform the theological performance of faith communities within the context of worship. Our work includes: criticism and/or deconstruction of normative traditions, especially in regards to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, class and their intersections; analysis of received liturgical theologies, practices and traditions with a “queer eye;” construction of liturgical theologies and practices based on the generative insights of queer theory; and the revision and creation of ritual practices in light of the particularities of LGBTQ lives.
For several years beginning in January 2018, Seminar on the Way met to explore ways that liturgical studies can contribute to the ongoing dialogue of Lutherans and Roman Catholics concerning the still remaining differences between the two churches. Over the years, the seminar involved more than twenty members of the Academy as well as invited consultants and guests. We have recently completed a statement entitled “On the Way to Full Communion: Thinking about Christian Unity from Liturgy,” which we now wish to share with the Academy as a whole and beyond.
John F. Baldovin, S.J. and Thomas H. Schattauer
The work of the Word in Worship seminar is located at the intersection of preaching and worship. The mission or purpose of the seminar is to investigate and interpret for the church and the academy the conjunction or overlap of the proclaimed word and the content of the liturgy in which proclamation occurs. This is based on an understanding of or belief in the liturgical nature of the proclaimed word in worship.