chapter  6
24 Pages

Liturgy and Society: Eucharist Shaping

This chapter will identify the foundations of Hebert’s ‘liturgical anthropology’. His insights and prescience are laudable and of value in exploring the significance of ecclesiology and missiology. However if his intention is to describe the function of the Church in the modern world, which it is, then this must have some purchase both within the life of the Church corporately and in the individual believer. Hebert’s understanding of what constitutes being human needs exploration to begin to set it within a liturgical framework. In Liturgy and Society Hebert enunciates the importance of the individual worshipper: conceiving the human being as one who worships and is shaped and formed within the Church. As previously stated, this is not a coercive or totalitarian notion. Paradoxically it is part of Hebert’s critique of individualism, that the individual finds meaning and purpose in the corporate. It is in that context, and in the notion of active participation, that the question of the self in liturgy is raised. This will be explored with particular reference to the work of the contemporary theologian James Smith. 1 Hebert’s quest to understand the function of the Church in the modern world demands that some account be given of the person who acts in the world shaped by liturgy. That association will be explored through the lens of offertory and the relationship between work and fruits received and offered. The ethical and political dimensions of the function of the Church in the modern world are unavoidable.