Posted on: July 18th, 2008 Pickstock on Developing a Liturgical Worldview (II)

John Milbank sees the church as an encompassing an ultimately cosmic community. And this view is complemented by the emphasis in Catherine Pickstock’s work on liturgy. Liturgy, in its most basic meaning, refers to the order of words and actions that is prescribed for public worship. but in her book After Writing, CP has given the term a much wider meaning. She argues that he muddles and uncertainties in which modern philosophy has ended up can only be overcome by recognizing that language only finally fulfills itself in praise and celebration. That is, in liturgy. And so she she subtitled her book “On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy.”

In my subtitle I was trying to hint at the ultimate argument of my book which is that the spatialization of modernity as I have described it can only be shattered or in some way challenged by a liturgical worldview where one is no longer trying to enthrone one’s own constructs but is now trying to reposition one’s self in that broader context which sees  the whole of reality as arriving from a divine creative source, and that we can only undo these dichotomies by some kind of liturgical enactment. One of the things I did in my book when I was analyzing secular reason is to show that the human self is by definition a divided self when it is trying to enthrone its own constructs. It starts to lead an almost duplicitous life. But a liturgical self is one which acknowledges fully its own dependence on a divine transcendent reality and is so committed to that reality that it can’t admit any divisions or internal contradictions. There is something completely simple about liturgical language. It simply says “I am nothing, and I worship you and I depend on you.” And along with this liturgical worldview comes the recognition that everything around us is in the mode of gift and is a gift from God. And so not only does it affect our relationship with our self and with God, but also our relationship to the world around us, and how we receive it.” — Catherine Pickstock in an interview which one can listen to here.

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