Postcolonial Liturgy

What’s wrong with this image? Note the dominating white persons, robed clergy clasping bibles or prayer-books, towering above subservient, kneeling, near-naked “natives.” The window, at St. George’s Anglican Church, Malvern, Melbourne, depicts bishops —of Calcutta, and Australia/Sydney— involved in the “christianisation” of this country. Presumably depicted in stained glass with some pride, the scenes now present an ambiguous picture —to say the least— that should now provoke questions...

[Thanks to the Rev. Dr. Nick White, the photographer.]


Postcolonial theology is starting to have some impact on liturgical studies, and I’m excited to be the first reader of essays I am collecting for a special edition of the journal Liturgy on postcolonial liturgy, which I am guest editing. 


The special edition will be published in February 2019, and includes essays by

Jione Havea (Tonga/Aotearoa New Zealand [Trinity Methodist College, Auckland]) on baptism;
Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon (India/Australia [Pilgrim Theological College, Melbourne]) on inter-religious reading; 
HyeRan Kim-Cragg (South Korea/Canada [St. Michael’s College, Saskatoon]) on preaching;  
Kristine Suna-Koro (Latvia/United States [Xavier University, Cincinnati]) on lament; 
myself (Britain/Australia [Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne]) on ordination services; and
Michael N. Jagessar (Guyana/Britain [United Reformed Church HQ, London]) on silence. 


Note also that the current edition of Liturgy is on Pentecostal worship, coedited by Ed Philips (Candler School of Theology, Atlanta) and Tanya Riches (Hillsong, Sydney). Check it out!

Photos below all sourced from internet searches: Monica Jyotsna Melancthon and Jione Havea, followed by HyeRan Kim-Cragg and Kristine Sura-Koro among some of the authors' books.