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Tasting Heaven on Earth: Worship in Sixth-Century Constantinople
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Tasting Heaven on Earth: Worship in Sixth-Century Constantinople


Eerdmans 2012

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


The Church at Worship series presents case studies of worshiping communities around the world and throughout Christian history, designed to inform and enrich worship practices today. Rather than survey historical developments of worship, this series closely examines worship practices of particular times and places. Each volume includes a map, a timeline, a summary of noteworthy aspects of worship in the relevant time period and region, an anthology of primary sources, and questions for congregational and student study groups.

In this second volume, Tasting Heaven on Earth, Walter Ray provides vivid descriptions of Constantinople, its history, its people, and its worship practices, setting the stage for a rich selection of primary documents that present readers with a vibrant snapshot of Byzantine Christianity in the sixth century. This illustrated, reader-friendly volume also features discussion questions for each chapter and suggestions for devotional use.

Primary materials collected in this book include:

  • Photos of mosaics, liturgical vessels, icons, and manuscripts
  • Drawings, diagrams, descriptions, and photographs of Hagia Sophia
  • Firsthand accounts of worship by Maximus the Confessor, Eutychius, and Procopius
  • Liturgical prayers and a reconstruction of the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil
  • Sung and spoken sermons attributed to Romanus and Leontius
  • Imperial decrees on worship practices

In the Logos edition, this volume is 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.

Interested in the whole series? Be sure to check out The Church at Worship Series.

Praise for the Print Edition

I cannot imagine a more vivid way to introduce this great Christian worship tradition, ancient yet ever new. This is a wonderful book in an astonishingly fresh and exciting new series; I am flattered to find my fingerprints all over it. Bravo, Walter Ray!

—Robert F. Taft, emeritus professor, Pontifical Oriental Institute

A splendid introduction to Eastern Orthodox worship. Amply illustrated and documented, Tasting Heaven on Earth makes the ancient and mysterious Byzantine liturgy come alive for modern Western readers.

—Paul Meyendorff, Alexander Schmemann Professor of Liturgical Theology, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

The more we know about how previous generations of Christians responded to the Holy Spirit in the context of their own cultures, the better equipped we will be for discerning the diverse work of the Holy Spirit in our time. Walter Ray’s book makes an important contribution.

Ralph Martin, director, Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: Tasting Heaven on Earth: Worship in Sixth-Century Constantinople
  • Author: Walter D. Ray
  • Series: The Church at Worship
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 170
  • Christian Group: Orthodox
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Worship

About Walter D. Ray

Walter D. Ray is assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, an Eastern Orthodox layman, and the author of several articles on early Christian liturgy.