Aesthetics and Liturgy

Most broadly, liturgy can be defined as a pattern for worship. Though one can engage in a liturgy alone, it is most commonly communal ritual action or observance. It encompasses public worship participated in and observed by a discrete religious group, according their particular and specific traditions as well as less formal approaches to worship. In the circumstances of some denominations or rites, liturgy can be prescribed.

Barth considered at least liturgical form as the basis for a theologian’s good practice: “In the invocation, in the giving of thanks, in the petition … the theologian is allowed to live out the freedom of thought which he enjoys as a child of God.”[1]

Transpositions hosted a symposium to address questions and issues surrounding the relationship between aesthetics and litury.  As the reader will see over the course of the symposium, our contributors are considering the aesthetics of liturgy across the broadest spectrum.

Contributions to the symposium included:


1. Barth, Karl. The Humanity of God. John Knox Press: Westminster, 1960. 90.