Image: Paten with the Communion of the Apostles, Dumbarton Oaks
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of publications directly or indirectly dealing with liturgy in the late antique world. While most of the twentieth-century scholarly editions, manuals and monographs on early Christian and medieval liturgy were produced by specialists within the field of Liturgical Studies, the recent growth of interest in liturgy has often stemmed from scholars of other disciplines. This talk examines recent trends in the study of liturgy and potential pitfalls that await the uninitiated scholar wishing to study liturgical sources, it reviews the major methods and sources used by liturgical scholars to access religious practice of late antiquity, and highlights the role and potential for using liturgical material within interdisciplinary approaches to the late antique world. The talk concludes with a case study on the use of liturgical sources for the writing of social history.
Gabriel Radle is assistant professor of liturgical studies and fellow of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in early and medieval Christian liturgy, with a particular interest in the Eastern Mediterranean world. His work engages the historical practice of Christianity through the comparative reading of liturgical manuscripts across traditions in dialogue with other source types, including visual and material evidence, hagiography, homiletic literature, and legal documents, both canonical and civil. His publications include studies on late antique and Byzantine marriage, medieval Eucharistic prayer and piety, and rites of passage.
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