Fortress Press

Liturgy as Revelation: Re-Sourcing a Theme in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology

Liturgy as Revelation

Re-Sourcing a Theme in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology

Philip Caldwell (Author), Lewis Ayres (Editor), MediAnn Volpe (Editor)


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This volume argues that in the twentieth century, Catholic theology increasingly recognized the centrality of Christology—particularly the person of Christ—as the locus of revelation and drew out the crucial implications for that which occurs within the space of liturgy and the sacraments.

Examining the specific contributions of René Latourelle, Avery Dulles, Salvatore Marsilli, and Gustave Martelet against a background of pre-conciliar ressourcement theology, this volume provides a comprehensive account of why a Trinitarian and Christological construal of liturgy and sacraments as revelation is key to the vision that informed Vatican II and offers constructive theological and ecclesial possibilities for the future.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451480382
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489477
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 240
  • Publication Date December 1, 2014


Part I: The Historical-Theological Background and Major Themes
1. Overtures for Change
Part II: The Exposition and Analysis of Selected Authors
2. René Latourelle: Establishing the Christological Foundation of Revelation
3. Avery Dulles: Diversifying the Models of Approach
4. Salvatore Marsilli: Granting Priority to the Liturgy
5. Gustave Martelet: Forming a Sacramental Anthropology
Part III: Evaluations and Prospectives
6. Moving Towards a Synthesis


"Fr. Caldwell’s thorough study of the theological categories of liturgy and revelation underscores the special link that unites the new evangelization to the liturgy. Liturgy as Revelation encourages the new evangelization to make the liturgy its living reality, in order that the proclamation that it undertakes may attain its fullest meaning."
—Archbishop Rino Fisichella
President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization
"This work admirably fills a gap in the needed intersection between fundamental and liturgical theology. Offering a profound understanding of four important twentieth-century Catholic theologians (as well as Catholic theology in general since the late nineteenth century), Caldwell makes a fine case that the fundamental truths of revelation, faith, and worship are one."
—John F. Baldovin, SJ
Boston College

"Fr. Philip Caldwell’s new study Liturgy as Revelation comes as a timely contribution to the Church’s continuing celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. It offers fresh insights into the theological method of some of the most significant thinkers and writers to influence the development of the theology and ecclesiology of Vatican II, and it encourages us to a deeper appreciation of the gift of the liturgy in the life and mission of the Church. Informed by Fr. Caldwell’s work as a teacher and formator, this book should also prove a useful tool in the context of ecumenical dialogue and reflection."
—The Most Rev. Bernard Longley
Archbishop of Birmingham

"This remarkably lucid study provides the sitz im leben for the dialogue between fundamental theology and liturgy that was the bridge from neo-scholasticism to the second Vatican Council. Caldwell tours the landscape by making a thorough examination of four influential theologians who merit our attention. They were ineluctably pressed to engage liturgy because they found that liturgy has a role in the transmission of revelation. Have we learned that lesson yet? Caldwell’s book shows the potential for theology if we do."
—David W. Fagerberg
University of Notre Dame

"Philip Caldwell gathers together for treatment in one place a huge and essential topic: the interface between a theology of revelation and the celebration of the liturgy. This interface is rooted in creation, becomes particular in Israel’s relationship with God, culminates in Jesus Christ, and continues in the Church’s liturgy. Giving first a historical perspective on why this question needs fresh answers, Caldwell then explores in detail four theologians who contribute to the synthetic vision he proposes. We need a book that faces the question in these terms and at this depth. Comprehensive consideration. Learned. Horizons wide open."
Jeremy Driscoll, OSB
Mount Angel Abbey and Seminary
Athenaeum San Anselmo, Rome