Honest Rituals, Honest Sacraments

Letting Go of Doctrines and Celebrating What's Real

By Joseph Martos

Honest Rituals, Honest Sacraments

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  • ISBN: 9781532640452
  • Pages: 176
  • Publication Date: 12/28/2017
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $16.00

Honest Rituals, Honest Sacraments

Letting Go of Doctrines and Celebrating What's Real

By Joseph Martos

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532640452
  • Pages: 176
  • Publication Date: 12/28/2017
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

Honest rituals are ceremonial actions that celebrate what is actually happening in people’s lives. Religious rituals, however, often celebrate beliefs and doctrines (e.g., the birth of Christ, God’s forgiveness of sins, or the gifts of the Holy Spirit) that have little to do with people’s experience.



Martos argues that early Christian rituals were grounded in experiences such as conversion, community, commitment, and self-giving. Lacking a vocabulary to name such experiences, the authors of the New Testament and other early documents resorted to metaphors such as baptism into Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit, forgiveness by God, and the presence of Christ during worship. By the fourth century, however, those metaphors were taken to be unexperienced metaphysical realities rather than experienced realities. The medieval schoolmen developed philosophical explanations of what went on in church rituals, and the Catholic Church continues to teach that its sacraments are automatically effective despite growing evidence to the contrary.



What if religious rituals were to regain their original authenticity? What if the guiding value in designing church ceremonies was honesty rather than liturgical correctness? After liberating the reader from doctrinal constraints, Martos invites Catholics into a re-visioning of the traditional sacraments and a reawakening of ritual imagination in non-Western cultures.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“This book will both stun and inspire anyone who wants to take sacraments seriously. Martos first challenges Christians (especially Catholics) to be honest about their sacraments: ‘Honest sacraments are not those that celebrate beliefs but those that celebrate lived realities.’ Drawing on his broad knowledge of church history and on his pastoral experience, he then offers a heartening picture of how the traditional seven sacraments might be reimagined and redesigned for our present context. I’d put this on the required reading list for all Catholic parishes.”

—Paul Knitter, Professor, Union Theological Seminary



Honest Rituals, Honest Sacraments is an honest effort to redefine rituals and sacraments that would express people’s values and experiences, free of metaphysical considerations. Job well done! The road is now wide open for more authentic forms of sacramentality.”

—Pierre Hegy, Professor, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York



“Reading Joseph Martos’ book is a historian’s delight. He has one foot solidly anchored in our genuine Christian tradition. The other is solidly anchored in contemporary, lived Christian experience, with a well-informed historical understanding and keen pastoral sensitivity. I strongly recommend his book to anyone in search of an authentically Christian and truly contemporary conception of sacramental life and ministry.”

—John A. Dick, Retired, Catholic University of Leuven



“This book combines the author’s deep knowledge of the history and spirituality of the sacraments with a straightforward writing style and creative intellectual courage. It speaks frankly, intelligently and hopefully to Christians seeking to celebrate, and live, the sacraments authentically in the twenty-first century.”

—Sara Terreault, Lecturer, Concordia University, Montreal

Contributors-

Joseph Martos

Bio(s)-

Joseph Martos is a retired professor of philosophy and theology. He is the author of many books and articles on sacraments and ritual, including Doors to the Sacred: A Historical Introduction to the Catholic Sacraments, The Sacraments: An Interdisciplinary and Interactive Study, and Deconstructing Sacramental Theology and Reconstructing Catholic Ritual.

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