This volume outlines a Christian theology that takes worship as its basic framework, as the occasion of not only an approach toward God in piety but also separation from God in sin. Drawing on Luther, Calvin, and especially Karl Barth, Matthew Myer Boulton builds a Reformed liturgical theology, maintaining that the God of Jesus Christ is a “God against religion,” one who saves human beings from religion by entering it, transforming it, and ultimately ending it.
Matthew Myer Boulton is associate professor of ministry studies at Harvard Divinity School. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), he serves on the ministerial staff at Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts. His books incl
Kathryn Tanner — University of Chicago Divinity School "Worship, with all its promise and peril, takes center stage in this beautifully written little systematic theology by one of the best young theologians in America today. Worth reading for its illuminating treatment of Barth alone, this is a must-read for anyone interested in how religious life is a weave of both sin and salvation. With its erudition wrapped in an entertaining, accessible style, Boulton's book is systematic theology at its finest: fresh, provocative, and compelling."
Robin A. Leaver — Westminster Choir College, Rider University "In the 1960s various theologians attempted to come to terms with Bonhoeffer's concept of ‘religionless Christianity' and concluded that ‘God' was dead. Here Matthew Myer Boulton, by a reexamination of Karl Barth's theology, shows that the concept was not new with Bonhoeffer but was known to such Reformers as Luther and Calvin. It is the rightness of righteousness rather than the religiosity of religion, the death of sin rather than the death of God, that lies at the heart of Christianity and is experienced in the reality of worship and is central to theology. A timely message in an age that tends to consign worship to the periphery of theological concerns."
Religious Studies Review “A provocative, well-written Christian Theology of worship. . . . Deserves much consideration from leaders and scholars of Christian worship.”
Reviews in Religion & Theology “In this superb and original book, Matthew Myer Boulton offers a theology of worship in which, boldly and provocatively, he argues for worship as simultaneously the problem within and the answer to humanity’s alienation from God. . . . This book really is a must-read.”
Theology “Marvellously clear and engagingly written.”
Modern Theology “In this book Boulton introduces himself to the academy as a probing theologian, a lively exegete, and a profound interlocutor with Barth, at home in the magisterial Protestant tradition and able to dialogue with scholars and liturgist practitioners with equal facility. It is a fine debut.”
Interpretation “Broad and insightful. . . . This book is an important and useful contribution that will benefit pastors, teachers, and students alike.”
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