This watershed work of sacramental theology is really a fundamental redefinition of terms -s ecular, religious, worship, sacrament, sin, symbol - framed within an interpretive, movement-by-movement description of the Liturgy. It owes its greatness and its outlook-transforming power to Schmemann's sense of the essential: that our fundamental role as human beings was to offer creation in love to God; that instead we used it as an end in itself, inevitably introducing death into the world; that in the Liturgy we resume our original eucharistic role through Christ's perfect self-offering to the Father on our behalf; that through this Sacrament par excellence, the whole universe can again become transparent to the presence of God. Schmemann simply has no patience with any theology that wants to isolate the Liturgy as a 'cultic' or 'religious' act, from, well, 'the life of the world.' He refuses to oppose symbol and real presence, powerfully reminding us of the patristic sense of the term as the 'bringing together' of two worlds, two realities. And he is equally impatient with theologies- whether the scholastic rationalist sort of the West or the pietistic, cultic sort of his own Orthodox tradition- that reduce the essence of the Eucharist to a question of 'validity' rather than joy. This small book is radical, and profound, in the truest sense of those words. It is all-embracing in its vision of the liturgical act that creates and defines the Church. 151 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
An approach to the world and to life that stems from the liturgical experience of the Orthodox Church. Deals with the issues of "secularism" and Christian culture, viewing them from the perspective of the Church as revealed and communicated in its worship and liturgy.