Foundations of Christian Worship

Fall 2017
TTh 9:00-10:20am
Area II
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

Foundations of Christian Worship is the core course of the program in liturgical studies at Yale. The course focuses on theological and historical approaches to the study of Christian worship, with appropriate attention to cultural context and contemporary issues.  The first part of the course attends to the foundations of communal, public prayer in the Christian tradition (such as its roots in Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament, its Trinitarian source and direction, its ways of figuring time, space, and human embodiment, its use of language, music, the visual arts, etc.). 

The second part offers a sketch of historical developments, from earliest Christian communities to present times.  In addition, select class sessions will focus on questions of overall importance for liturgical life, e.g. the relationship between gender differences and worship life, and the contemporary migration of liturgical practices into cyberspace.  Foundations of Christian Worship, as the gateway course to the program in liturgical studies, should be taken prior to other liturgy courses.  The course is especially recommended for students preparing for ordination and/or other responsibilities in worship leadership, and is an essential course for all students interested in graduate work in liturgical studies.

Background Expected: 


Course Requirements: 

Attendance, readings, church visit paper, reflection paper, final exam

Basis of Evaluation: 

Your final grade will be assigned on the basis of your 2nd reflection paper and the result from your final exam. 

Your first paper (i.e., the report on a church visit) will serve to tip the balance between the grades for the two later requirements. 

Class attendance, attendance at the Liturgy symposiums, and online postings are all required but will not be assigned a separate grade; they might, however, be taken into account if the other three indicators of your work fall squarely between two grades.