This book provides a comprehensive study on the proclamation of Holy Scriptures as an enacted celebration, as well as its function as a performance within sacralized theatrical spaces. Scripture is integral to religious life within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and these traditions have venerated the reading of texts from an appointed place as a sacred act. Thus, the study of how these readings are conducted illuminates some vitally important aspects of this widespread act of worship.
Contributing to an underexplored area of scholarship, the book offers an overview of scripture reading in the three Abrahamic faiths and then focuses on where and how the “Word of God” is presented within the Christian tradition. It gathers and summarizes research on the origins of a defined place for the proclamation of holy writings, giving a thorough architectural analysis and interpretation of the various uses and symbols related to these spaces over time. Finally, the listener is considered with a phenomenological description of the place for reading and its hermeneutical interpretation.
The material in this book uncovers the contemporary impact of a rich history of publicly reading out scriptures. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of liturgical theology, religious studies, and ritual studies.
Table of Contents
1 Ritual Practices and Places of Proclamation
2 The Formal and Legal Structure of Proclamation
3 The Theology of Proclamation
4 The Experiential Spectrum of Ritual Proclamation
David H. Pereyra teaches at the University of St. Michael’s College and coordinates the Liturgy Seminar at the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. He holds degrees in architecture from Universidad de Buenos Aires, theology from the University of St. Michael’s College, and a postdoctoral fellowship in community engagement studies at the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University in Toronto. To find out more about David H. Pereyra, visit davidhpereyra.com.