Liturgy as politics

An interview with William Cavanaugh
In his reflections on theology and politics, Catholic theologian William T. Cavanaugh has focused attention on how Christian liturgical practices embody and inform—or should embody and inform—Christian political witness. His book Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics and the Body of Christ (Blackwell) is about the Roman Catholic Church’s responses to the rule of Augusto Pinochet in Chile during the 1970s. Cavanaugh, who teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, has also written Theopolitical Imagination: Discovering the Liturgy as a Political Act in an Age of Global Consumerism (T. & T. Clark) and coedited The Blackwell Companion to Political Theology (Blackwell). We spoke to him about liturgy, politics, the entertainment culture and Christian education.

You’ve suggested that Christians ought to draw on their own liturgical practices as they consider how to engage in politics. What do you have in mind?

 

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