Mapping uncharted territory in the study of liturgy's past, this book offers a history to contemporary questions around gender and liturgical life. Teresa Berger looks at liturgy's past through the lens of gender history, understood as attending not only to the historically prominent binary of "men" and "women" but to all gender identities, including inter-sexed persons, ascetic virgins, eunuchs, and priestly men. 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.
'In this challenging and convincing new study, Teresa Berger uses the lens of gender analysis to take a fresh look at the writing of liturgical history. With scholarly insight, she demonstrates how gender has shaped liturgy’s past and continues to influence its celebration today. An indispensable resource for students of Christian worship and gender studies alike.' Simon Jones, Merton College, Oxford, UK 'In this excellent study Teresa Berger offers a challenging and intriguing correction to the ways in which the study of liturgical history has ignored the reality of gender differences in the shaping of, and the being shaped by, Christian liturgies past and present. From the gendered limitations of sacred spaces, to ignored Eucharistic imagery, to the sacramental impediments of bodily flows, and to gendered-troubled leadership, Berger "lifts the veil" and allows us to see with new eyes and new appreciation what was there all the time in the tradition - a renewed appreciation for the saints. What a great text this will be to use in courses in liturgical history.' Maxwell Johnson, University of Notre Dame, USA 'The author […] gives a broad and deep analysis of the way gender influenced liturgical practice in the first centuries of Christianity… makes the important step of addressing how the past affects the present, noting contemporary issues, questions and developments.' Magistra ’Berger has presented a convincing case for re-reading our familiar sources with the veil of gender removed…’ Church Times 'This review can only be an incomplete reflection of a rich and panoramic history… the case histories are compelling and every page is rich in footnote references. The bibliography is extensive. It is a work to be studied at leisure, leaving the reader with an enhanced awareness and a responsibility to pursue future developments.' Women, Word, Spirit 'In lifting a veil on a largely overlooked aspect of the past, Berger shows how gender continues to
Contents: Preface; Part I Gendering Liturgy's Past: the Trouble, the Task and the Tools: Gender history in liturgy's past - why not?; From women to gender differences in liturgy's past. Part II Tracing Gender in Liturgy's Past: Sacred spaces and gendered bodies; Eucharistic fragments: gender on and under the table of tradition; Presence at worship: bodily flows as liturgical impediments; Liturgical leadership: gender-troubled. Part III Gender, History, and Liturgical Tradition: The lasting presence of liturgy's past; Bibliography; Indexes.
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.