Nearly everything that theologians write on liturgy, Father Kavanagh notes, is often called liturgical theology, although on closer examination such works appear to be either dogmatic theologies about the liturgy or systematic theologies making use of liturgical data. None truly reflects how liturgy shapes theology or is theology or even relates to theology.
This work is Father Kavanagh's effort to substantiate the existence of a truly liturgical theology. It will raise almost as many questions as it answers, but it will also further insight into theology and liturgy as it assays their relationship.
Aidan Kavanagh, OSB, (1926-2006) founded the doctoral program in liturgical studies at Notre Dame and served as professor of liturgics at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School. His texts on liturgy, rites of initiation, and liturgical theology made him a significant figure in American Catholic liturgiology. He is the author of Elements of Rite, On Liturgical Theology, and The Shape of Baptism published by Liturgical Press.