Featured Author - Dr. Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen

Dr. Jeppe Bach Nikolajsen is assistant professor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Aarhus, Denmark, adjunct professor at MF Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo, Norway, and chief editor of Danish Journal of Theological Studies. His article “The Formative Power of Liturgy: The Church as a Liturgical Community in a Post-Christendom Society” appears in the October 2014 issue of European Journal of Theology.

Article Summary - The Formative Power of Liturgy. The Church as a Liturgical Community in a Post-Christendom Society

In recent decades, an increasing number of theologians have discussed the consequences of the Western world’s transition from an era of Christendom to an era of post-Christendom. The Christian church in Western society now appears as a distinct people with a distinct way of life and world view. So far, we have seen substantial dogmatic expositions of a new understanding of the church’s distinctiveness. However, we also need more practical-theological analyses of how we should understand the church’s distinctiveness. The article proposes that all liturgies are in one way or another formative. I have selected a useful fourfold categorization of Christian worship under the headings gathering, sermon, sacrament and sending, demonstrating how liturgy may impact the life of the church in a situation of post-Christendom. Thus, I propose that liturgy should play a more important role in the ecclesiological contributions which no longer take the old Christendom for granted.