On Liturgical Asceticism

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Drawing on the Eastern Orthodox tradition of asceticism and integrating it with recent Western thought on liturgy, David W. Fagerberg examines the interaction between the two and presents a powerful argument that asceticism is necessary for understanding liturgy as the foundation of theology. Asceticism may have been perfected in the sands of the desert, but it is demanded of every theologian and, indeed, every Christian. It grants the capacity for pondering liturgy and sharing the life of Christ. Fagerberg brings to light asceticism's essential importance in liturgical theology.Fagerberg's earlier work, Theologia Prima, understood liturgy as the foundation of theology. To that framework, he now adds the relevance of asceticism. Asceticism was understood to overcome the passions by cooperating with grace. It detailed how to train the life of grace and produce what the ancient church called a theologian. Fagerberg carries the wisdom of the earliest centuries forward. He develops a new framework called liturgical asceticism that combines discipline with sharing the life of Christ.