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Doxology: The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine and Life: A Systematic Theology [Paperback]

Geoffrey Wainwright
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 5, 1984 0195204336 978-0195204339
Seeks to identify and describe the continuing Christian vision, to trace its modes of transmission, and to permit it to illuminate the human context. The result is a systematic theology in the perspective of worship.

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Doxology: The Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine and Life: A Systematic Theology + Jesus Humanity and the Trinity + The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology)
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Editorial Reviews


"A rich book that is filled with insights into and information about the liturgy and its relationship to theological issues."--Calvin Theological Journal

"Highly original and genuinely refreshing....Wainwright has made an important contribution to contemporary theological discourse and supplied welcome evidence that, all claims to the contrary notwithstanding, ecumenism is by no means dead."--John Jay Hughes, America

"A delight...fills in many gaps in the standard treatments and casts fresh light on various perplexing questions....Written with an impressive command of the pertinent literature and in a serenely ecumenical spirit."--Avery Dulles, S.J., The Catholic University of America

"I have been wrestling with how to relate theology and the worship life of the Church [and] the cross-cultural dimensions of the Christian faith. This book refreshingly fills [that] need."--Tite Tienou, Alliance Theological Seminary

"It is a book with which the reader must think, question, wrestle, and pray....This systematic theology should be required reading for any church professional, be it clergy or lay professionals."--Creator Magazine

About the Author

Geoffrey Wainwright is Robert Earl Cushman Professor of Christian Theology at Duke University, having previously taught in Cameroon, West Africa, Birmingham, England and Union Theological Seminary of New York.

Product Details

  • Series: Praise of God in Worship, Doctrine and Life
  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 5, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195204336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195204339
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overcoming Division June 6, 2006
Written during the 1970's when much of the Church's traditional positions were under constant attack by theologians and first published in 1980, Geoffrey Wainwright's Doxolgy was and still is a groundbreaking book. Rather than jumping on the modernist bandwagon, Wainwright goes back to the central event in the Church's life - it's worship - and using this theme attempts to build bridges between what is good in modern scholarship to the strengths of the Church throughout its history.

At almost every turn, the Wainwright's allegiance to ecumenicity and catholicity is clear. The book avoids the old battles and an irenic spirit is present throughout its pages. The theological divisions within the Church (ancient vs. modern, East vs. West, Catholic vs. Protestant) are overcome in a manner that the reader may gain an understanding of what is "other" without surrendering cherished distinctives.

Wainwright divides his examination into discussions of God and the Church, Scripture and Tradition, and the surrounding context of the Christian experience. The thread running through all of the discussions is the worship of the Church. Worship is seen as both informing reflecting other elements of the Church and its life. Central to this discussion are the chapters on Lex Orandi and Lex Credendi - reflecting the two phrases of the Latin saying that sums up this relationship.

There are certainly points on which we may make objections. Much of this may in fact be due to the period of time in which the book was written as well as the ecclesial environment from which Wainwright was writing. As part of the movement towards ecumenism between Catholic, Orthodox, and the major Protestant groups, Wainwright was perhaps overly optimistic of the future success of this endeavor.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy It For Chapters 7 & 8 January 22, 2004
Doxology is a good book and well worth the price. However, as with many books, some chapters stand out to me more than others. In chapters 7 & 8 Wainwright deals with the old Latin phrase LEX ORANDI LEX CREDENDI (rule of prayer rule of belief). Like the old chicken and egg question, but with greater importance, Wainwright discusses which comes first, prayer or belief. That is, do we create our doctrines to match our worship or do we design our worship to reflect our beliefs? Before you answer that question too quickly I need to add that this is of fundamental importance to the ongoing dialogue between Catholics and Protestants.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: Theology of Prayer & Belief November 6, 2004
"The intimate relation between Christian theology and the praise of God now seems obvious to a great many theologians." Editors

Liturgy and Stamps:
`Liturgy,' means `work of the people,' and is the way in which all Christians have expressed their belief in public fellowship. It is a communal way, in which the worship of churches is similar in core, even if varies with time, space, and culture.
Dr. Inge, the late Dean of St. Paul's, was asked by his neighbor, a distinguished liturgist, while dining at a high table in Oxford whether he was interested in liturgy; 'No,' replied the gloomy Dean, 'neither do I collect postage stamps'. It is, thus, a fairly rare occurrence for the theme of the rule of worship and faith to be treated by an eminent Protestant theologian, who sets in this work's scope; "One of my purposes in writing has been to rescue this interplay of worship and doctrine-with both its problems and its opportunities-as an area of interest for Protestant theology."

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi:
An appropriate alternative title for 'organizing principle' in professor Wainwright's perception and elaboration of the vital relation between Christian theology and the praise of God. Doxology sets the frame for the rule of worship and belief, in a unique exploration of the relation of worship to doctrine and life. These themes, most influential of Geoffrey Wainwright's contributions to systematic theology and ecumenism started to attract the attention of thoughtful Protestants, and many other Catholic and Orthodox believers, anew. The impressive author seeks to identify and describe the core of Christian life, to trace its modes and traditions, genuinely developing a systematic theology of worship.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A theology of experience May 5, 2006
It may not be the definative theology of the century, but it is one of the best. For any Christian or student looking to understand the nature of and relationship between Christian worship and belief, this text is a rich resource.

The central premise of this text is that theology is secondary to the worship, the experience, of Christianity. He is influenced by, but not beholden to, the Phenomenology of Ninian Smart. Used in moderation this gives Wainwright another perspective by which to address his main thesis, that Christianity developed as much out of its evolving practices as it did its evolving ideas.

By looking at Christianity as an experience as opposed to a system of beliefs, Wainwright has developed a fantastic perspective as to how Christianity has formed, and what the beliefs of Christianity actually mean. He has a good understanding as to some of the principle aspects of Christianity- notably its scriptures, its worship and its traditions, that open up new thinking into Christian practice. It is neither a comfortably Protestant nor Catholic theology, but seeks to be eccumenical. Reading his ideas on the development of tradition can be reassuring and challenging- they sometimes remind us that we are once church, and occassionally he will say something alien to our customary understandings (both Catholic and Protestant), but not necessarily wrong.

My only critique is that the reader needs to take care to be aware of how Wainwright feels about the authority of tradition. While he explicitly points out worship and scripture as foundational for Christianity, one should realize that tradition plays a large role in this text- Protestant readers often seem to misunderstand his call for a 'magisterium' by not appreciating this.
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