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Cultural Liturgies Collection (3 vols.)
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Cultural Liturgies Collection (3 vols.)

by

Baker Academic 2009–2017

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.
$67.99

Overview

These three volumes by philosopher James K.A. Smith provide a comprehensive theology of our culture and address crucial concerns in ontology, anthropology, epistemology, and political philosophy. Smith examines the liturgies found within the everyday structures of our culture and envisions how Christian worship acts as a change agent. Intellectual and practical, this series will be appreciated by professors, students, pastors, and ministers alike.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Analyzes and emphasizes the importance of worship
  • Illustrates how secular liturgies form and deform Christians
  • Cites numerous historical and contemporary sources

Product Details

  • Title: Cultural Liturgies Collection
  • Author: James K.A. Smith
  • Series: Cultural Liturgies
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Volumes: 3
  • Pages: 712
  • Resource Type: Monographs
  • Topic: Liturgical Theology

Individual Titles

Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation

  • Author: James K.A. Smith
  • Series: Cultural Liturgies
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 238

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Desiring the Kingdom focuses education around the themes of liturgy, formation, and desire. The author contends—as did Augustine—that human beings are “desiring agents”; in other words, we are what we love. Postmodern culture, far from being “secular,” is saturated with liturgy, but in places such as malls, stadiums, and universities. While these structures influence us, they do not point us to the best of ends. Smith aims to move beyond a focus on “worldview” to see Christian education as a counter-formation to these secular liturgies.

His ultimate purpose is to re-vision Christian education as a formative process that redirects our desire toward God’s kingdom and its vision of flourishing. In the same way, Smith re-visions Christian worship as a pedagogical practice that trains our love. Desiring the Kingdom will reach a wide audience; professors and students in courses on theology, culture, philosophy, and worldview will welcome this contribution. Pastors, ministers, worship leaders, and other church leaders will appreciate this book as well.

James Smith shows in clear, simple, and passionate prose what worship has to do with formation and what both have to do with education. He argues that the God-directed, embodied love that worship gives us is central to all three areas and that those concerned as Christians with teaching and learning need to pay attention, first and last, to the ordering of love. This is an important book and one whose audience should be much broader than the merely scholarly.

—Paul J. Griffiths, Duke Divinity School

In lucid and lively prose, Jamie Smith reaches back past Calvin to Augustine, crafting a new and insightful Reformed vision for higher education that focuses on the fundamental desires of the human heart rather than on worldviews. Smith deftly describes the ‘liturgies’ of contemporary life that are played out in churches—but also in shopping malls, sports arenas, and the ad industry—and then re-imagines the Christian university as a place where students learn to properly love the world and not just think about it.

—Douglas Jacobsen and Rhonda Hustedt Jacobsen, authors of Scholarship and Christian Faith: Enlarging the Conversation

This is a wise, provocative, and inspiring book. It prophetically blurs the boundaries between theory and practice, between theology and other disciplines, between descriptive analysis and constructive imagination. Anyone involved in Christian education should read this book to glimpse a holistic vision of learning and formation. Anyone involved in the worship life of Christian communities should read this book to discover again all that is at stake in the choices we make about our practices.

—John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary

Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works

  • Author: James K.A. Smith
  • Series: Cultural Liturgies
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 224

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

How does worship work? How exactly does liturgical formation shape people? And how does the Spirit marshal the dynamics of such transformation? In this volume, James K.A. Smith expands and deepens the analysis of cultural liturgies and Christian worship he developed in his acclaimed Desiring the Kingdom. Drawing on the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Bourdieu, this volume helps readers understand and appreciate the bodily basis of habit formation and how liturgical formation—both secular and Christian—affects one’s fundamental orientation to the world. Worship “works” by leveraging one’s body to transform his or her imagination, and it does this through stories understood on a register that is closer to body than mind. This has critical implications for thinking about the nature of Christian formation and the role of the arts in Christian mission.

Students of philosophy, liturgical studies, and theology will welcome this work—as will scholars, pastors, worship leaders, and Christian educators. Imagining the Kingdom includes analyses of popular films, novels, and other cultural phenomena, such as The King’s Speech, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, the iPhone, and Facebook.

This book is a thought-provoking, generative reflection on the imagination-shaping power of Christian worship practices. Smith describes and demonstrates how practices, perceptions, emotions, and thought interact and how together they can be shaped in cruciform ways. What an ideal book for crossing boundaries among academic disciplines and between the academy and the church.

—John D. Witvliet, professor of worship, theology, and congregational and ministry studies, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Imagining the Kingdom is a fit successor to Jamie Smith’s remarkable Desiring the Kingdom. The new book is, like its predecessor, learned but lively, provocative but warmhearted, a manifesto and a guide. Smith takes Christians deeper into the artistic, imaginative, and practical resources on which we must draw if we wish to renew not only our minds but also our whole beings in Christ.

—Alan Jacobs, Clyde S. Kilby Chair Professor of English, Wheaton College

In this wonderfully rich and engagingly readable book of ‘liturgical anthropology,’ Smith makes a persuasive case for the thesis that human beings are best understood as worshiping animals. It has important implications at once for practical theology’s reflection on religious formation, liturgy, and pedagogy and for philosophical theorizing about just what religion is. And it develops as an engaging and lively conversation among an astonishing mix of people: imagine Calvin, Proust, Merleau-Ponty, Augustine, Wendell Berry, Bourdieu, and David Foster Wallace all in the same room really talking to each other about being human and how to think about it!

—David Kelsey, Luther A. Weigle Professor of Theology Emeritus, Yale Divinity School

Jamie Smith shows us that the Gospel does not primarily happen between our ears but in all the movements of the body by which we are formed and in turn form the world. I know of no more thorough and sophisticated account of how secular liturgies form and deform us and how Christian liturgies can help. Though sophisticated, Smith’s book is also a delight. Its pages are filled with great poetry and insights from films, novels, and everyday life. Smith shows how we encounter God with our whole selves and how God carries us even when we don’t know what is going on.

William T. Cavanaugh, senior research professor, DePaul University

It is heartening to set one’s eyes on Jamie Smith’s bold and creative endeavor to awaken Christians, Protestants in particular, to the centrality of worship in even, nay especially, our moral lives. Smith’s acute insight into the false and lying stories and liturgies generated by the dominant powers of our economy makes his case for a reclamation of worship within the churches compelling; for this thoughtful book is rightly concerned with a restoration of the Christian imagination rooted in habits of virtue.

—Vigen Guroian, professor of religious studies, University of Virginia

Arguing that we are guided primarily by imagination, which is primed through the conduit of the body, Smith maintains that the structure of church liturgies matter deeply in providing a counterweight to the liturgies of self-centeredness promoted in the larger culture. . . . Smith uses literature, poetry, philosophy, and film to make a compelling case that it would behoove churches and seminaries to attend more closely to imagination and aesthetics rather than doctrine as central to developing an other-oriented Christian desire.

Publishers Weekly

Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology

  • Author: James K.A. Smith
  • Series: Cultural Liturgies
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 250

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this culmination of his widely read and highly acclaimed Cultural Liturgies project, James K.A. Smith examines politics through the lens of liturgy. What if, he asks, citizens are not only thinkers or believers but also lovers? Smith explores how our analysis of political institutions would look different if we viewed them as incubators of love-shaping practices—not merely governing us but forming what we love. How would our political engagement change if we weren’t simply looking for permission to express our “views” in the political sphere but actually hoped to shape the ethos of a nation, a state, or a municipality to foster a way of life that bends toward shalom?

This book offers a well-rounded public theology as an alternative to contemporary debates about politics. Smith explores the religious nature of politics and the political nature of Christian worship, sketching how the worship of the church propels us to be invested in forging the common good. This book creatively merges theological and philosophical reflection with illustrations from film, novels, and music and includes helpful exposition and contemporary commentary on key figures in political theology.

Negotiating his way through the mass of confusions known as political theology, Smith has written a superb book that develops a constructive and nuanced position in the Reformed tradition. He has done so, moreover, by engaging in conversations with Oliver O’Donovan and Jeff Stout. This is a book that should be read widely by anyone interested in addressing the fundamental questions of church and politics.

—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke Divinity School

With great clarity and cultural insight, Smith sets out an Augustinian-Reformed antidote to the highly polarized forms of politics we see around us today, in which churches—whether on the left or the right—are too often raucous and rancorous participants. In doing so, he joins a growing chorus of those arguing for a constructive theological account of the politics of a common life.

—Luke Bretherton, professor of theological ethics and senior fellow, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke Divinity School

Smith has written an essential guide to social life aimed at his fellow Christians but essential reading for all of his fellow citizens. His core insight, that the human being is created to pursue solidarity but must then be ceaselessly formed and re-formed to achieve and sustain it, is at least as bracing a critique of modern politics as it is a critique of the deficiencies of political theology.

—Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs and author of The Fractured Republic

James K.A. Smith’s Awaiting the King is a thoughtful, wise, and provocative book. In it, we are challenged to recognize certain truths that run counter to the Western tradition: that the state is deeply religious, being as it is an incubator of love-shaping practices; that the church is profoundly political, being as it is a place of public ritual centered on and led by a King; and that the church’s public theology must therefore resituate the political in light of creation and reframe it in light of eternity. Awaiting the King is not only smart but also well written and relevant to a broad range of interests, including public theology, political science, philosophy, and social ethics.

—Bruce Riley Ashford, provost and professor of theology and culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

About James K.A. Smith

James K.A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, he is editor of Comment magazine and a senior fellow of the Colossian Forum. Smith is the author or editor of many books, including the Christianity Today Book Award winners Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, and is editor of the well-received Church and Postmodern Culture series.