Larry Hurtado's Blog

Andrew McGowan’s new book, Ancient Christian Worship:  Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective (Grand Rapids:  Baker Academic, 2014) is now a major new resource for any who share my interest in historical origins of Christian worship practices.  His focus is on practices, but he does include evidence of how early Christians regarded them and what these practices meant as expressions of their faith.

The scope of topics/practices covered is impressively wide, as is the time-frame covered (the first five centuries or so).  The chapter titles will indicate the topics.  After an introduction, we have “Meal:  Banquet and Eucharist” (chap. 2), “Word:  Reading and Preaching” (chap. 3), “Music:  Song and Dance” (chap. 4), “Initiation:  Baptism, Anointing, and Foot Washing” (chap. 5), “Prayer:  Hours, Ways, and Texts” (chap. 6), and “Time:  Feasts and Fasts” (chap. 7).

For me, given my own focus on the first couple of centuries or…

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