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Philip Garside Books

A Body of Praise - Print

A Body of Praise - Print

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A Body of Praise: Understanding the Role of Our Physical Bodies in Worship.

W. David O. Taylor.

Soft cover  210pp.
ISBN 9781540963093.
Baker Academic (2023).

[Allow 4 weeks]. 

A respected theologian and pastor argues that all of our postures, gestures, and movements in worship should be understood as a way to participate in creation’s ongoing praise of God.

  • Do our physical bodies really matter in corporate worship?
  • Isn’t our soul the most important part of us?
  • Aren’t our bodies, at best, negligible to worship and, at worst, a hindrance?

The answer to this last question is categorically no, as Christians have attested throughout history and across the global church. The purpose of the body instead is to offer to God in worship what only it can offer – and what must be offered to God.

By drawing on the wisdom of the Bible, church history, and theology, and by taking advantage of the unique insights of the arts and sciences, ethics, and spiritual formation, a respected theologian and pastor argues in this book that there is something for our physical bodies to do that decisively forms Christlikeness in us within the context of corporate worship.

What we do with our postures, gestures, and movements in worship matters. How our senses of sight, scent, sound, taste, and touch are involved in worship matters. How our spontaneous and prescriptive activities form us in worship matters. All of it matters to faithful and fulsome worship for the sake of a body that is fully alive in the praise of God.

“An excellent, nuanced, and well-timed study. As we wrestle with the long-term impact of the pandemic on our worship practices, this work is an indispensable resource.”  Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

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