Philosophies of Liturgy: Explorations of Embodied Religious Practice

Philosophies of Liturgy: Explorations of Embodied Religious Practice. Edited by J. Aaron Simmons, Bruce Ellis Benson, Neal DeRoo. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023.

Available at: Bloomsbury Academic

Publisher's Overview:

Mainstream philosophy of religion has primarily focused on the truth and justification of religious beliefs even though belief is only one small facet of religious life. This collection remedies this by taking practice and embodied action seriously as fundamental elements of any philosophy of religion.

Emerging and established voices across different philosophical traditions come together to consider religious actions, including public worship, from perspectives such as trauma and social ontology, sound and silence, and knowledge and hope. Embodied religious practice is viewed through the lens of liturgy, intrinsically connecting religious rituals to human existence to show clearly that, no matter where one finds oneself in terms of the so-called 'analytic-continental' divide, philosophy of religion must be concerned with more than just beliefs if it is to adequately deal with the subject matter of 'religion.'

The purpose of these studies is not to reject what has gone before but to expand the focus of philosophy of religion. This approach lays the groundwork for investigations into how beliefs are situated in our theological, moral, and social frameworks. For any philosophy of religion student or scholar interested in how thinking and living well are intimately related, this is a go-to resource. It takes seriously the importance of historical religious traditions and communities, opening the space for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary debates.

Table of Contents

Part I: On Spiritual Practice
1. Clare Carlisle – “What is Spiritual Practice”
2. Christina M. Gschwandtner – “Why Philosophy Should Concern Itself with Liturgy: Philosophical Examination of Religion and Ritual Practice''
3. John Cottingham – “Engagement, Immersion, and Enactment: The Role of Spiritual Practice in Religious Belief”
4. John Sanders – “Liturgical Jellyfish”

Part II: Liturgy and Social Existence
5. Michelle Panchuk – “Power and Protest: A Christian Liturgical Response to Religious Trauma”
6. Bruce Ellis Benson – “Religion as a Way of Life: On Being a Believer”
7. Terence Cuneo – “Blessing Things”
8. Kevin Schilbrack – “Liturgical Groups, Religions, and Social Ontology”

Part III: Materiality and Religiosity
9. Neal DeRoo – “Material Spirituality and the Expressive Nature of Liturgy”
10. Wendy Farley – “Dark Times and Liturgies of Truth: The Uses and Abuses of Reason”
11. Sharon L. Baker Putt – “Compassionate Action: Taking Eckhart, Farley, and the Beguines to Bethany”
12. Emmanuel Falque – “After Metaphysics?: The 'Weight of Life' According to Saint Augustine”

Part IV: Knowledge, Sound, and Hope
13. Nicholas Wolterstorff – “Knowing God by Liturgically Addressing God”
14. Sarah Coakley – “Beyond Belief: Liturgy and Cognitive Apprehension of God”
15. Joshua Cockayne – “Corporate Liturgical Silence”
16. Brian A. Butcher – “'You Have Given Us the Grace to Pray Together in Harmony':
Orthodox Liturgical Singing as a Criterion for (Philosophical? Theological?) Aesthetics"
17. J. Aaron Simmons and Eli Simmons – “Liturgy and Eschatological Hope”

Philosophical Perspectives on Existential Gratitude: Analytic, Continental, and Religious

Philosophical Perspectives on Existential Gratitude: Analytic, Continental, and Religious. Edited by Joshua Lee Harris, Kirk Lougheed, Neal DeRoo. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023.

Available at: Bloomsbury Academic

Publisher's Overview:

Existential gratitude - gratitude for one's very existence or life as a whole - is pervasive across the most influential human, cultural and religious traditions. Weaving together analytic and continental, as well as non-western and historical philosophical perspectives, this volume explores the nexus of gratitude, existence and God as an inter-subjective phenomenon for the first time.

A team of leading scholars introduce existential gratitude as a perennially and characteristically human phenomenon, central to the distinctive life of our species. Attention is given to the conditions under which existence itself might be construed as having a gift-like or otherwise gratitude-inducing character.

Drawing on a diversity of perspectives, chapters mark out new territory in philosophical inquiry, addressing whether and in what sense we ought to be grateful for our very existence. By analysing gratitude, this collection makes a novel contribution to the discourse on moral emotions, phenomenology, anti-natalism and theology.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Joshua Lee Harris, Kirk Lougheed, and Neal DeRoo

Part I. Gratitude in Human Life
1. Grounding Existential Gratitude: A Social Form Account – Joshua Lee Harris (The King's University, Canada)
2. Gratitude and Resentment: A Tale of Two Weddings – Graham Oppy (Monash University, Australia)
3. Gratitude and the Human Vocation – Brian Treanor (Loyola Marymount University, USA)

Part II. Gratitude and Existence
4. Generous Existence? Gift, Giving, and Gratitude in Contemporary Phenomenology – Christina Gschwandter (Fordham University, USA)
5. Analogia Gratiae: Creation, Existence, and Gift in the Christian Metaphysics of Erich Przywara – Eric Mabry (St. Mary's Seminary and University, USA)
6. Gratitude for Life-Force in African Philosophy – Thaddeus Metz (University of Pretoria, South Africa)

Part III. Gratitude and the Divine
7. The Dilemma of Gratitude – Michael Almeida (University of Texas at San Antonio, USA)
8. Is Gratitude Necessary? Avicenna on Existential Dependence – Catherine Peters (Loyola Marymount University, USA)
9. Do we Owe Gratitude to God for Our Existence? – Kirk Lougheed (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
10. Thank You: William Desmond's Ethic of Gratitude and Personal God – Ethan Vanderleek (Marquette University, USA)