Trinity College

Fr Geoffrey Helps Launch New Book at Sheptytsky Institute

On Thursday 8 March, at an event at the Sheptytsky Insitute of Eastern Christian Studies at St Michael's College, Fr Geoffrey Ready gave the main address at the book launch of Dr Brian Butcher's Liturgical Theology after Schmemann: An Orthodox Reading of Paul Ricoeur, published by Fordham University Press.

While only rarely reflecting explicitly on liturgy, French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) gave sustained attention to several themes pertinent to the interpretation of worship, including metaphor, narrative, subjectivity, and memory. Inspired by his well-known aphorism, “The symbol gives rise to thought,” Liturgical Theology after Schmemann offers an original exploration of the symbolic world of the Byzantine Rite, culminating in a Ricoeurian analysis of its Theophany “Great Blessing of Water.”

The book examines two fundamental questions: 1) what are the implications of the philosopher’s oeuvre for liturgical theology at large? And 2) how does the adoption of a Ricoeurian hermeneutic shape the study of a particular rite? Taking the seminal legacy of Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) as its point of departure, Butcher contributes to the renewal of contemporary Eastern Christian thought and ritual practice by engaging a spectrum of current theological and philosophical conversations.

The video below is the audio recording of Fr Geoffrey's talk along with the presentation slides.