Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

Reclaiming space for learning in liturgical contexts: Cracks in the maxim of the uselessness of liturgical ritual

Marcel Barnard, Cas Wepener
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 68, No 2 | a1184 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v68i2.1184 | © 2012 Marcel Barnard, Cas Wepener | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 October 2011 | Published: 18 July 2012

About the author(s)

Marcel Barnard, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Cas Wepener, Department of Practical Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The problem addressed in this article is, that empirical and theoretical research appears to demonstrate that liturgy often aims at certain results. This, however, puts the widely accepted notion in Liturgical Studies of the so-called uselessness of liturgical ritual under pressure. Against this background in Liturgical Studies the aim of this article is to reclaim space in academic discourses on liturgy for learning in liturgical contexts. The latter is done by presenting several liturgical models, revisiting arguments regarding the (non) functionality of ritual or religion and also by reflecting on ritual-liturgical data that the authors personally collected as part of two research projects.


Worship; Liturgy; Ritual; Functionality; Participatory Observation


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Crossref Citations

1. 'Bliksem!'/Damn it! A ritual-liturgical appreciation of a deadly sin for an angry nation
Casparus J. Wepener
Verbum et Ecclesia  vol: 36  issue: 3  year: 2015  
doi: 10.4102/ve.v36i3.1422