Kent and Rhoda are taking a week off from blog posting to attend the Annual Meeting of the North American Academy of Liturgy. It is a great opportunity for us to engage with other scholars in the field, to read and discuss papers on liturgical topics written by colleagues and offer feedback on works-in-progress, and also to read published works by members within and outside of the Academy. As the photo shows, there’s also time for socializing. Both of us have been attending NAAL since we were in graduate school. Here’s a brief quotation from the Vice President’s address we heard on Tuesday evening:
Both historical and ethnographic liturgy have built in guardrails to prevent me from assuming the cultural or temporal other is totally unlike me; both also hinder me from making the other too much like myself. Rather, the third space of liturgical studies schools me in cosmological encounter. Here I meet others who, like me, find transcendence in liturgy, but in practices that I find unfamiliar or distasteful. I also meet those who are deeply unlike me but find transcendence in practices that move me too.
The presenter, Dr. Kimberly Belcher from the University of Notre Dame, set the stage for thoughtful and respectful conversations in this academic setting. We are grateful to be part of NAAL, which has both nurtured and challenged our thinking and scholarship.