Friday, May 20, 2022

What is a "liturgy?"

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: What is an Ancient Jewish Liturgy? (Jeremy Penner).
With these issues in mind, I would suggest that a liturgy can be defined as a publicly accepted ordering of rituals, which are, in turn, “the performance of more or less invariant sequences of formal acts and utterances”[8] for the public good, that may or may not include communication with the divine. I have not yet had the opportunity to fully explore the potential payoff of this definition, but I suspect it may shift the focus to thinking about ancient Jewish liturgy more as a way of life rather than prayerful acts. ...
Could be.

I am wary of efforts to define an etic term based on ancient usage of cognates, especially when we're dealing with terms in multiple languages. For etic usage, it is more important to define your terms clearly than to debate the meaning of the terms.

I encourage the author to explore the implications of this definition of liturgy. Others may define the term differently, with different implications.

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