This book examines the historical development of the blessing of waters and its theology in the East, with an emphasis on the Byzantine tradition. Exploring how Eastern Christians have sought these waters as a source of healing, purification, and communion with God, Denysenko unpacks their euchology and ritual context. The history and theology of the blessing of waters on Epiphany is informative for contemporary theologians, historians, pastors and students. Offering important insights into how Christians renew Baptism in receiving the blessed waters, this book also proposes new perspectives for theologizing Christian stewardship of ecology in the modern era based on a patristic liturgical synthesis. Denysenko presents an alternative framework for understanding the activity of the Trinity, enabling readers to encounter a vision of how participants encounter God in and after ritual.
Contents: Foreword; Preface; Introduction; Early history of the blessing of waters; History of the blessing of waters: stage 1 (8th-10th centuries); History of the blessing of waters: stage 2 (11th-13th centuries); History of the blessing of waters: stage 3 (14th-16th centuries); The origins of the 'Great are You' prayer; Memory and praise of the Lord's theophany; Epiclesis and the gift of the Holy Spirit; Pastoral considerations; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Nicholas Denysenko is assistant professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, and an ordained deacon of the Orthodox Church in America. He earned his B.S. in business from the University of Minnesota (1994), an M.Div. from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (2000) and a Ph.D. in liturgical studies from The Catholic University of America in 2008. He has published several articles in Studia Liturgica, Worship, St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, and Theological Studies. Current research projects include an analysis of Orthodox architecture in America and the theology of Chrismation in the Byzantine rite.
Reviews: ‘One of the finest recent examples of the craft of liturgical theology - historical sources grounding theological insights which have deep resonances for the contemporary church.’Kevin W. Irwin, The Catholic University of America, USA'Students of Byzantine liturgy will find this an abundantly informative study of a rite which not only holds a significant place in popular Orthodox piety but also has significant wider theological and pastoral implications.' Journal of Theological Studies'In his The Blessing of Waters and Epiphany Denysenko gives us one of the finest books of liturgical theology to be published in recent years… Denysenko’s work is invaluable for all who seek to deepen their understanding of the ritual setting of Epiphany, Orthodox and non-Orthodox, ordained and lay, Eastern and Western, alike, offering informative insights into the Christian renewal of Baptism through receiving the blessed waters, and proposing new perspectives of ecological stewardship in the contemporary world, drawing on a synthesis of patristic writing on liturgy.' Heythrop Journal
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