Reformation and Modern Rituals and Theologies of Baptism: From Luther to Contemporary Practices, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reformation and Modern Rituals and Theologies of Baptism

From Luther to Contemporary Practices, 1st Edition

By Bryan D. Spinks


266 pages

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Presenting a comprehensive survey of the historical underpinnings of baptismal liturgies and theologies, Bryan Spinks presents an ecumenically and geographically wide-ranging survey and discussion of contemporary baptismal rites, practice and reflection, and sacramental theology. Writing within a clear chronological framework, Bryan Spinks presents two simultaneous volumes on Baptismal Liturgy and Theology. Early and Medieval Rituals and Theologies of Baptism summarizes the understandings of baptism in the New Testament and the development of baptismal reflection and liturgical rites throughout Syrian, Egyptian, Roman and African regions. In this second volume, Reformation and Modern Rituals and Theologies of Baptism, Spinks traces developments through the Reformation, liturgies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and explores important new ecumenical perspectives on developments of twentieth-century sacramental discussion. Present practices of Baptist, Amish, as well as Methodist, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed and Anglican denominations are also examined.


'Reformation and Modern Rituals is highly recommended for all seminary collections in conjunction with Early and Medieval Rituals if not already part of the library collection.' Catholic Library World '[Bryan Spinks] has produced the most comprehensive history of Christian baptism available, perhaps the most complete ever published.' Touchstone '… [an] important study by a leading liturgical historian…' Archives (Journal of the British Records Association) ’…a useful addition to the shelves of all involved in pastoral ministry who wish to look further afield than their own practice and of those whose interest is in academic liturgical study and teaching.’ Anaphora ’… fills an important gap, both for the student and the scholar… one is struck both by the sheer variety of the material, and by the surefooted way in which Spinks negotiates his journey through the perilous terrain of scholarly controversy and ongoing research… All in all, Spinks has provided the world of scholarship and teaching with many favours for the years to come in [this] well-presented and thoroughly researched [work].’ Journal of Theological Studies ’… of particular value in that Bryan Spinks presents that variety and disagreement, causing and caused by the Churches' separation, so that readers are forced to identify and reflect on the traditions in which they have been formed, implicitly or explicitly. Readers who may never have questioned the meaning and purpose of their own baptism will be enabled to align themselves with one or more liturgical practices or nuanced theological positions of the foundational event in Christian discipleship.’ Church Times ’… an essential addition to the considerable literature on the subject… surely an obvious choice for teachers of liturgy to recommend to their students, taking its place in the library of essentials.’ Theology ’Bryan Spinks is to be commended for organizing and explaining a vast ocean of information.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Part I Divergent Rivers: Luther and the Lutheran tradition; The Reformed tradition: from Ulrich Zwingli to Eugène Bersier; The Anglican tradition: from Thomas Cranmer to F.D. Maurice; The radical Reformation tradition: Anabaptists, English Separatists, Baptists and Quakers; Some new churches of the 18th and 19th centuries. Part II Converging Streams: Cross-currents: some baptismal theologies of the 20th century; Tidal marks: some contemporary baptismal rites; Some reflections on the waters. Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

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

About the Series

Liturgy, Worship and Society Series

The Liturgy, Worship and Society series provides a library of innovative scholarship in liturgical studies at a time of vital changes in liturgical life and vigorous debates in academia. The series highlights contemporary work in liturgical studies, attuned both to traditional scholarly inquiry and to recent and emerging questions. In particular, the series is committed to exploring the relationship between liturgical life in Christian churches worldwide and the broader cultural and social contexts in which worship takes place. By offering a thorough grounding in the historical and theological foundations of liturgy as well as determined attention to contemporary developments and concerns, the Liturgy, Worship and Society series is set to make a vital contribution not only to scholarship in liturgical studies but also to the practice of Christian worship in the world today.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / Christian Rituals & Practice / Sacraments
RELIGION / Christianity / General