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Worship as Meaning

Worship as Meaning
A Liturgical Theology for Late Modernity


Part of Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine

  • Date Published: September 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521535571

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About the Authors
  • How, in this Christian age of belief, can we draw sense from the ritual acts of Christians assembled in worship? Convinced that people shape their meanings from the meanings available to them, Graham Hughes inquires into liturgical constructions of meaning within the larger cultural context of late twentieth-century meaning theory. Major theories of meaning are examined in terms of their contribution or hindrance to this meaning making: analytic philosophy, phenomenology, structuralism and deconstruction. Drawing particularly upon the work of Charles Peirce, Hughes turns to semiotic theory to analyse the construction, transmission and apprehension of meaning within an actual worship service. Finally the book analyses the ways in which various worshipping styles of western Christianity undertake this meaning making. Taking account of late modern values and precepts, this ground-breaking book will appeal to teachers and students of theology, to clergy, and to thoughtful lay Christians.

    • Ground-breaking attempt to address the question of liturgical meaning from the points of view of the major twentieth-century theories of meaning
    • Offers a unique semiotic analysis of worship
    • Surveys the current styles of liturgical theology and offers a new approach, taking into account late modern values and precepts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… brings his maturity and liturgical wisdom to bear on a subject of enormous practical importance for liturgists and laity alike.' Theology

    '… excellent book … Hughes has helped to significantly advance a conversation about Peircean semiotics and liturgical theology.' Theology

    'Graham Hughes offers a comprehensive summary of recent semiotic theory and recent liturgical studies in this wide-ranging, mature epic. … Hughes has put his finger on a host of questions, hunches and disaffections that have been worrying liturgical studies for some time. … this is an inspirational book, the sort that makes you see what you do a little differently and hope for more, and as such the concretization of its work will be done one worshipper at a time, if she is allowed to construct the realities of her world within the symbolic openness that God, in this view of worship, creates.' Scottish Journal of Theology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521535571
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 155 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Making of Meaning:
    1. Meaning in worship
    2. 'Theory of Meaning' at the end of the twentieth century
    3. Dimensions of a theory of meaning for worship
    Part II. Signs of Wonder:
    4. The liturgical sign (i)
    5. The liturgical sign (ii)
    6. Sign production, sign reception
    7. Liturgical theology
    8. At the edge of the known

  • Author

    Graham Hughes, Moore Theological College, Sydney
    Graham Hughes is Lecturer Emeritus in Liturgical Studies at United Theological College and Academic Associate at the School of Theology, Charles Sturt University, Sydney. He is the author of The Place of Prayer (1998), Beyond our Dreaming (1996), Leading in Prayer (1992) and Hebrews and Hermeneutics (Cambridge, 1981).

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