Discourse in Ritual Studies by Schilderman, J.B.A.M., Hans Schilderman

By Schilderman, J.B.A.M., Hans Schilderman

Discourse in Ritual stories bargains an creation into the research of public worship from the point of view of formality studies.The contributing authors confront an action-oriented and empirical process of formality experiences with perennial and normative questions that represent the examine of liturgy.

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Extra resources for Discourse in Ritual Studies

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Analysing practices from a normative perspective requires a kind of practical hermeneutics, in which one inquires into the what, where and when, who, how and why of the practices concerned (Schilderman 2004). Hence a normative perspective in interpreting the intra-religious, interreligious and secular problems pertaining to liturgical quality requires answers to a series of interpretive questions. What are the qualities of liturgy and how are they deÀned? What are the historical and socio-cultural properties of these qualities?

Being a theological discipline, liturgical studies is often referred to as a normative science, to be studied in terms of the interaction of values and actions, ideal and reality. As a practical discipline liturgical studies can clarify this normative interaction in terms of ‘practised qualities’. A normative perspective presupposes an ethical view, or at least the application of ethical criteria. A point we want to make at the outset is that a normative perspective by no means implies a speculative view.

The concomitant paradigmatic and theoretical approaches further complicate matters. Phenomenological, speculative, hermeneutic, descriptive, explorative, comparative or explanatory aims of data analysis can be pursued to test theoretically different claims. In theology the debate on aims often centres on a distinction between descriptive and normative research. Should theologians be detached researchers and limit themselves to veriÀable facts that they obtain from a study of their sources? Or should they be engaged believers, even committed church members in their research activities?

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