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Theological Foundations of Worship

Biblical, Systematic, and Practical Perspectives

series: Worship Foundations

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This volume brings together an ecumenical team of scholars to present key theological concepts related to worship to help readers articulate their own theology of worship. Contributors explore the history of theology's impact on worship practices across the Christian tradition, highlighting themes such as creation, pneumatology, sanctification, and mission. The book includes introductions by N. T. Wright and Nicholas Wolterstorff. A forthcoming volume will address the historical foundations of worship.


Preface by the Editors Khalia J. Williams and Mark A. Lamport
Series Introduction Nicholas Wolterstorff
Introduction    N. T. Wright
Part 1: Biblical Practices of Worship: Exegetical and Biblical Theology
1. Old Testament and Worship    Andrew E. Hill
2. New Testament and Worship    Pheme Perkins
Part 2: Theological Principles of Worship: Systematic and Historical Theology
3. Creation and Worship    W. David O. Taylor
4. God and Worship    Don E. Saliers
5. Humanity and Worship    Ronald T. Michener
6. Christology and Worship    Bruce T. Morrill
7. Pneumatology and Worship    Khalia J. Williams
8. Eschatology and Worship    Maurice Lee
9. Ecclesiology and Worship    Rhodora E. Beaton
10. Mission and Worship    Eugene R. Schlesinger
11. Mystery and Worship    Ivana Noble
12. Sanctification and Worship    Lizette Larson-Miller
Part 3: Cultural Possibilities for Worship: Practical and Apologetical Theology
13. Cultural Considerations and Sacred Significance of Time in Worship    Anne McGowan
14. Ecology and Worship    Teresa Berger
15. Individualism and Community within Worship Practices    E. Byron (Ron) Anderson
16. Secularization and Worship    James K. Wellman Jr.
17. Christian Worship in the Context of Other World Religions    Peter C. Phan
Epilogue: Pursuing a Theology of Worship    Martyn Percy


"Written by distinguished contributors representing a range of Christian traditions, this volume provides insightful perspectives on biblical, theological, and cultural dimensions of Christian worship. This book will serve as an excellent central text for use in Christian worship courses."

Monique M. Ingalls, associate professor of music and graduate program director of church music, Baylor University

"To have such a comprehensive resource on different theologies of worship from such a range of authors is like a dream come true. Until now it has been hard to find such a compendium. Like the slow turning of a large diamond, this book displays the many facets of the wonder of Christian worship."

Lester Ruth, research professor of Christian worship, Duke Divinity School

"Who is the God worshiped by ordinary churchgoers, and how is that God related to the Holy Mystery studied by biblical scholars and theologians? This book attempts to bridge the gap between these two worlds, inviting worshipers to reflect more deeply on familiar acts such as prayer, singing, sacraments, and proclamation, and to consider how their embodied acts cohere with what we say we believe. Worship leaders from a wide variety of backgrounds will benefit from this solid body of work by both senior and emerging scholars in the fields of biblical studies and systematic, historical, missional, and liturgical theologies."

Martha Moore-Keish, J. B. Green Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary

"'Christians tend to experience worship more than think about it.' This provocative phrase introduces readers into a thoughtful exploration of how fundamental Christian doctrines sustain, shape, and are expressed in liturgical practices and vice versa. Written by leading scholars and practitioners, clearly organized, profound but accessible, and ecumenically sensitive, Theological Foundations of Worship is an essential guide for those seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the multifaceted connections between what we believe and what we do in corporate worship."

María Eugenia Cornou, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

"In a pain-full world, worshipers crave the immediacy of a direct experience of God in worship--to feel whole. The desire to feel something instantly each time we gather, however, often takes priority over the need to reflect intentionally on the meaning of worship. The diverse perspectives in this volume's depths offer an opportunity to reconnect feeling and reflecting with doing. Place this book beside your prayer book, your devotional guide, your hymn book, your favorite sacred video clips, or your spiritual playlist of songs, and let them talk with each other. You will feel more deeply and worship more fully."

C. Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

The Authors

  1. Khalia J. Williams

    Khalia J. Williams

    Khalia J. Williams (PhD, Graduate Theological Union) is associate dean of worship and music and associate professor in the practice of worship at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  2. Mark A. Lamport

    Mark A. Lamport

    Mark A. Lamport (PhD, Michigan State University) is professor of practical theology at graduate schools in the United States and Europe. He has coauthored or edited over a dozen books, including Nurturing Faith: A Practical Theology for Educating...

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