In Medias Res: Liturgy for the Estranged

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9781934542019: In Medias Res: Liturgy for the Estranged
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Catherine Madsen is the author of The Bones Reassemble, a groundbreaking critique of modern liturgical language. She is a former contributing editor to the interreligious journal CrossCurrents and the author of many essays and a novel, A Portable Egypt. Written several years before The Bones Reassemble, In Medias Res is a sort of preliminary field test of Madsen's theories of liturgical language. Its rituals incorporate literary and religious texts in a tight dramatic structure, delineating a religion of nature in which nature is vulnerable to history. Unlike many books of ritual for skeptics, the focus is not on rational statements of belief but on artistic coherence – language and action that will continue to yield meaning over time. Hardheaded, tender, morally urgent and finely literate, In Medias Res achieves an unusual synthesis of the aesthetic and the ethical, presenting both a performable body of ritual and a valuable method for liturgical writing, and setting a new standard for modern liturgy. “In medias res: to stand right here, for once, in the middle of the temple of things, with all our vertigo and tenderness, our unlikely desires, our eccentric hopes. Trying to remember the liturgies we need to invent, to improvise the rituals we must already have learned. For us, standing here, Catherine Madsen offers a book of unyielding beauties—and surprising comforts.” "A brilliantly orchestrated bricolage of quotations from a wide array of both secular and religious writers. A profoundly learned liturgy in the range of its ideas and the breadth of its acknowledgment of tradition, forged into a seamless, compelling whole. Madsen's work exists at the intersection of the imagination and the moral life."

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