Berger focuses on thirteen key interpretative principles that guide the reconstruction of women at worship - from a re-configuration of the canon of sources and a re-Visioning of liturgical periodization to re-interpretation of anthropological basics and of liturgical texts. On the basis of these principles, she analyzes liturgical dynamics in two time periods crucial to the history of women at worship: the early centuries of the Christian Church and the twentieth-century liturgical renewal. Within the twentieth-century liturgical renewal, Berger focuses on two specific foci of renewal: the classical liturgical movement of the first half of the century, and - as a case of history-in-the- making" - the women's liturgical movement of the present day.
Women's Ways of Worship narrates both past and present liturgical developments from the perspectives of women's lives, heeding such dynamics as the genderization of liturgical space, women- specific liturgical taboos, gender-specific devotional practices, and the emergence of feminist liturgies. An epilogue confronts the question of a future liturgy "beyond gender."
Convinced that reconstructing the history of women at worship will offer a new Vision of the place of the women's liturgical movement within liturgical history as a whole, Berger puts this movement on a continuum of women at worship, which is a continuum of struggle against the historic marginalization of women in most liturgical contexts. As this struggle has come to the forefront today, Women's Ways of Worship provides a context for change, with women themselves being agents of both the questioning and the transformation.
Chapters are "Reconstructing Women's Ways of Worship: In Search of Methodological Principles," "Liturgical History Re-Constructed (I): Early Christian Women at Worship," "Liturgical History Re- Constructed (II): Women in the Twentieth-Century Liturgical Movement," and "Liturgical History in the Making: The Women's Liturgical Movement."
Teresa Berger is associate professor of Ecumenical Theology at the Divinity School of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. She is the author of numerous books and contributor to a variety of journals including Worship, published by The Liturgical Press."
Demonstrating what a gender-attentive inquiry is able to achieve, Berger explores both traditional fundamentals such as liturgical space and eucharistic practice and also new ways of studying the past, for example by asking about the developing link between liturgical presiding and priestly masculinity. Drawing on historical case studies and focusing particularly on the early centuries of Christian worship, this book ultimately aims at the present by lifting a veil on liturgy's past to allow for a richly diverse notion of gender differences as these continue to shape liturgical life.
Teresa Berger is professor of liturgical studies at Yale's Institute of Sacred Music and at Yale Divinity School. She holds doctorates in both dogmatic theology and liturgical studies. Her recent books include Women's Ways of Worship (1999), andFragments of Real Presence (2005). She is also coproducer, of the interactive CD-ROM Ocean Psalms.
Bryan D. Spinks, DD (Dunelm, UK), is Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and is coeditor of the Scottish Journal of Theology. Spinks is a former consultant to the Church of England Liturgical Commission, president emeritus of the Church Service Society of the Church of Scotland, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.