Liturgy in the Age of Reason : Worship and Sacraments in England and Scotland  1662–c.1800 book cover
1st Edition

Liturgy in the Age of Reason
Worship and Sacraments in England and Scotland 1662–c.1800

ISBN 9781032099538
Published June 30, 2021 by Routledge
294 Pages

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Book Description

Worship has always been affected by its surrounding culture. This book examines the changing perspectives in and discussions on worship styles and practices from the Restoration to the death of Wesley, in England and Scotland. Moving beyond the text, Spinks grounds the discussion within the changing cultural and intellectual framework of the period referred to as the Enlightenment. The focus is the end of the early modern period, when already the upheaval of the English Civil War, the methods of the Cambridge Platonists, and the thinking of Descartes and Spinoza were making the period one of transition, and Newtonian thought and the thought of John Locke impacted theological thought and worship forms. It is against this framework that the worship in England and Scotland will be described and assessed. As well as published and unpublished liturgical documents, this book draws on contemporary accounts and descriptions of worship, catechisms, sermons and theological works, and contemporary diaries. Musical and architectural changes are also noted, particularly the late seventeenth century hymns of Richard Davies of Rothwell, Joseph Stennett and Benjamin Keach. This book places worship in the society which it served, and from which changes sprang. It explores the interaction of cultural thought and worship, drawing parallels between the Enlightenment period and problems of late modernity and the worship wars of the late twentieth century.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The Restoration settlement of worship in the established Churches of England and Scotland; Restoration sacramental teaching South and North of the border; The Glorious Revolution and liturgical plurality; Singing God's praises from the margins: worship and hymns of late 17th-century dissent; Ancien régime and patristic authority; High Church, nonjuring and Jacobite liturgical experiments; Newtonian and Lockean theology, liturgical revision and rational sacraments; Affectionate worship: the evangelical revival; 'Common or garden' liturgy: worship and sacraments in later Georgian England; Some aspects of worship and sacramental instruction in the Georgian Kirk; Glimpses of dissenting worship - old, new and curious; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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Bryan D. Spinks is Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School, USA


’An impressively researched and important contribution to the history of liturgy in the age of reason.’ Professor William Gibson, Director of the Oxford Centre for Church History and Methodism, Oxford Brookes University. ’Bryan Spinks is a world renowned scholar of history, significance and theology of Christian worship. Here is a much needed study which fills an important gap between the Reformation and the recent revisions. Spinks weaves into his narrative both the big issues and what things were like on the ground. This is another welcome feature of a valuable study that will stand us all in good stead for many years to come.’ The Rt Revd Dr Kenneth Stevenson, Bishop of Portsmouth, UK ’With its judicious use of period sources - theological writings, ritual texts, hymns, and first-hand descriptions - along with analysis of the social, political, and intellectual contexts, Liturgy in the Age of Reason provides new lenses for examining and interpreting the liturgical upheaval that characterized England and Scotland during the 17th and 18th centuries.’ Professor Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, Boston University, USA ’Spinks work serves as a valuable corrective to earlier assumptions regarding worship in this period...We can only hope that Spinks will continue to develop his studies...’ Studia Historicae Ecclesiasticae ’... an extremely important contribution that deserves to be widely read and studied.’ Worship ’... a handsomely produced study.’ Archives, the Journal of the British Records Association ’... Spinks has provided the standard reading for the history of liturgy in England and Scotland’s enlightened age!’ Doxology ’Spinks is to be congratulated for opening up a number of key aspects relating to the religious life of post-Reformation Britain.’ Catholic Historical Review ’This is truly a monumental work...’ Church Service Society Record ’This book is a product of immense learning and will become a standard work