I am a self proclaimed worship nerd. I love to think about the reasons behind the ways we worship. This book is a really interesting exploration of different traditions and the ways worship is shaped by and shaping the communities of believers.
I thought this was a good book but it is academically written offering. It is not a light read, but it is well worth the effort for those of us participating in creating worship. It is clear through Hegy’s research that they are looking to draw more than sociological inferences about worshiping communities. The use of the interaction model developed by Randall Collins to describe and analyze the various worship experiences was a wonderful framework. I think it would be a helpful tool for worship creators to use for their communities to evaluate worship.
I appreciated the focus on some of the spiritual responses that are drawn from experiences of worship. So often analysis is on form alone without much reflection on the outcomes for the spiritual lives of those involved. While that is hard to measure I thought the intention and effort to explore that aspect of worship was important.
I also loved the opportunity to “experience” so traditions that are very different from my own. I learned about liturgical practices that enhanced my own reflection on my work and worship. The variety of settings made this book even more valuable as it helped me see the usefulness of the tools and the ability to learn from worship in order to create better liturgical framing in the future.