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Old Paths and New Ways

Negotiating Tradition and Relevance in Liturgy


Robert Lilleaasen

The relationship between tradition and relevance is a core feature in religious practice in general and public worship in particular. On the one hand, worship is a bearer of religious traditions, i.e. traditions are maintained in the practice of public worship, and the worship enables individuals to connect with these traditions. On the other hand, it is a quest for relevance in public worship. In order to maintain existing worshippers and attract new participants, congregations have to consider their ability to connect their core values to the needs and expectations of existing and potential participants. This dual purpose of the worship causes a need for negotiation, and it is this negotiation between tradition and relevance that this book investigates. Old Paths and New Ways is a case study of the negotiation between tradition and the quest for relevance in liturgy.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Lilleaasen, Robert, author. Title: Old paths and new ways: negotiating tradition and relevance in liturgy / Robert Lilleaasen. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2018. Series: American university studies. Theology and Religion; vol. 362 | ISSN 0740-0446 Includes bibliographical references. Identifiers: LCCN 2017038126 | ISBN 978-1-4331-4362-5 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-4363-2 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4364-9 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-4365-6 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Public worship—Case studies. | Relevance. | Tradition (Theology). Classification: LCC BV15.L548 | DDC 264—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b11962 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

© 2018 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited.

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