Introduction to Aesthetics and Liturgy Symposium

Next week will see Transpositions host a symposium on Aesthetics and Liturgy, curated by Anna Blanch and Preston Yancey.

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]

As we will see over the course of the symposium, our contributors are considering the aesthetics of liturgy across the broadest spectrum.

Our schedule for the next week looks as follows:

Monday, 1 October –  “Censer, Crucifix, Candlestick: The Icon Trinity in the Mass“, by Preston Yancey, regular contributor for Transpositions.
Tuesday, 2 October“The Sign of the Cross: Participatory Aesthetics”, by Holly Ordway Chair of the Department of Apolegetics, Houston Baptist University.
Wednesday, 3 October“Reimagining the Function of Bioethics: Participating with Wisdom in the Story of Human Flourishing”, by Ashley J Moyes, PhD Candidate, University of Newcastle, Australia.
Thursday, 4 October –  The Idiot and Iconography”, by Scott Kirkland, PhD Candidate, University of Newcastle, Australia.
Friday, 5 October“Beautiful Paradox: Humanity’s Participation in Christ”, by Matt Farlow, Pastor of Adult Ministries at Lakeside Church.

We look forward to the discussion prompted by these contributors.


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


  • Anna M. Blanch is a regular contributor to Transpositions. She is Australian by birth, and inclination, Anna grew up surrounded by the Australian bush, a large extended family, bush poetry, and sport. Anna is currently writing her PhD in Theology and Literature. She finds photography, enjoying her environment and its fruits, and being in community bring her joy.

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