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(1,392 words)

Author(s): Berger, Teresa
1. Theological Place How one defines the proper place of liturgics within the spectrum of theological disciplines depends on how one understands liturgy and what significance one attributes to it in the life of the church. If one sees leitourgia as a fundamental and central function of ecclesial existence, then scholarly reflection on liturgy has its rightful place both within theology proper, especially ecclesiology, and also within the practical theological disciplines, where liturgics has mostly been located since it emerged as a s…


(5,012 words)

Author(s): Marshall, Paul V. | Adam, Adolf | Theodorou, Evangelos | Pfatteicher, Philip H. | Berger, Teresa
1. Term and Development 1.1. Term In the pagan world, “liturgy” (Gk. leitourgia, from leı̈tos, “concerning the public,” plus ergon, “work”) originally had an entirely secular use, connoting the service owed to the public by persons of means; in addition, philanthropists took on additional service, also called liturgy. The basic meaning was thus “service for the people.” A secondary, cultic usage developed for the term, perhaps because ultimately the public was to benefit from the service rendered to the gods. This cultic meaning was adopted in the LXX and in Hellenistic Judaism for a number of Hebrew terms involving the service of God, and ultimately for priestly service, but the two strands of meaning appear to be mixed. At the time of the birth of Christianity, the Jewish world understood the term as meaning “service to God for the good of the people.”…