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Liturgical Press

The Cross and Creation in Christian Liturgy and Art

Christopher Irvine; Foreword by Rowan Williams; Includes four-color illustrations

The Cross and Creation in Christian Liturgy and Art
The Cross and Creation in Christian Liturgy and Art

ISBN: 9780814663059, 6305

Details: 288 pgs, 5 7/16 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 08/01/2013

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In The Cross and Creation in Christian Liturgy and Art Christopher Irvine explores how the cross can be read and understood by exploring its place and function in the architectural setting of Christian worship, in the artwork that is placed there, and in rituals and worship texts. Thus, Irvine recovers the links between the cross and creation and relates the baptismal covenant to a commitment to care for creation. Readers will begin to see how Christ's sacrifice is related both to the Eucharist and to the natural world as God's creation.

Clergy and laity who are particularly interested in worship and art will find this book, which includes a four-color section, very helpful. Irvine encourages readers to see worship as a fitting response to the Christian vision of life flourishing in paradise. Includes four-color illustrations.

Christopher Irvine is a Canon of Canterbury Cathedral. He has been a parish priest as well as a university chaplain, tutor, and vice principal at St Stephen's House and principal of the College of the Resurrection at Mirfield. He is the author of The Use of Symbols in Worship, The Art of God, and co-author of Art and Worship published by Liturgical Press.


This study challenges any view of Christ crucifixion that reduces it either to a human tragedy or to a transaction that 'saves souls': we are taken back into the heart of the biblical and early Christian conviction that this is where the Second Adam breaks the bonds of captivity that have diminished and frustrated humankind and re-clothes men and women in their proper dignity. With an impressively wide range of scholarly reference matched with a lucid and appealing style, Canon Irvine leads us on an exhilarating journey into seeing the central mysteries of faith with new eyes—a true baptizing of the imagination.
Paul Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge

This is an important book for interested clergy and worship leaders who seek to learn from the past about art's function within worship spaces. It is also a profound theological treatise that challenges readers to view the cross in terms of a theological and cosmological claim of God's redemptive work in Jesus Christ.
Paul Galbreath, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

The symbolic dimension of liturgy has not often received the attention it deserves in academic studies of Christian worship. This book opens up the subject in an important way and should appeal to a wider readership than those customarily attracted to our discipline.
Paul F. Bradshaw, Professor of Liturgy, University of Notre Dame