Friday, 17 May 2019

Harald Buchinger: Text – Matter – Ritual: Occasional prayers of the liturgical year in historical and comparative perspective

The development of the liturgical year in Late Antiquity was the effect of profound change: mimetic celebrations of particular events of the biblical history first appeared as a categorical innovation of the later fourth century and led to the introduction of unprecedented rites commemorating certain moments, stations and actions of the biblical narrative; but also after their institution, the shifting character of the liturgical rituals and their texts mirrors changing theological, cultural and historical attitudes, spiritualities and conditions.
The proposed paper will examine prayers for special celebrations of the liturgical year, notably Holy Week and Easter, and investigate the dynamic and variegated relation between text, matter, participants and ritual: how was the re-presentation of the biblical history effected in the symbolic interaction of the participants; which role was ascribed to the material elements within and beyond the festal rituals; which use and abuse can be discerned, and how does the development of the liturgies relate to changing historical and cultural circumstances?
Complementary to the contribution proposed by Daniel Galadza on the Byzantine rite, the envisaged investigation will focus on the Latin liturgies (especially Gaulish, Old Hispanic, and Roman traditions) and their particular patristic background.

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