Knowing God Liturgically

Nicholas Wolterstorff


In this essay I develop the thesis that one way in which a person can come to know God is by learning to participate in Christian liturgical enactments. After analyzing some ordinary examples of practical knowledge yielding knowledge of things or substances, I turn to the knowledge of God yielded by the acquisition of practical liturgical knowledge. Pervasive in Christian liturgical enactments is address to God. So, while acknowledging that one can come to know God liturgically by listening to the reading of Scripture and to the sermon, I focus on coming to know God by learning to address God in certain ways. I argue that it is especially by what one takes for granted when addressing God, and by the addressee-identification terms that one learns to employ, that one comes to know God by learning the Christian practice of addressing God.

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The Journal of Analytic Theology is a joint publication of the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame and Baylor University.

ISSN 2330-2380 (online)