Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Review: The Bible and the Liturgy, by Jean Danielou

The Bible and the Liturgy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Danielou is a very good writer and careful christian scholar, and there definitely is a logic to all of his insights in this book. This book helped me see the very clear orthodoxy of the early christian church, while illustrating at the same time some of the silly interpretations of what would later come to be essential to the liturgy of the Roman Catholic church. Danielou, of course, defends the essential rites of the RC liturgy, but thankfully, in this book, he does so in a very tasteful manner.

However, since I'm not Roman Catholic, I wasn't convinced of every argument as being essential to maintaining a biblical liturgy. For example, I thought the rite of confirmation was very poorly defended, even by the early church fathers. Also, the rite of sphragis (the sign of the cross) was fascinating, but not fascinating enough to be entirely convincing. It did give me a greater respect for the rite though. All in all, this book is worth the read, especially if you enjoy the thoughts of the early church fathers in connection with essential RC liturgical rites.

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