Guest lecture with Dr. Brian Butcher: Figuring Liturgically: Putting Alexander Schmemann in Dialogue with Paul Ricoeur

Welcome to a guest lecture within the field of liturgical theology by Dr. Brian Butcher. In this lecture, Butcher will present material from his recent book Liturgical Theology After Schmemann: An Orthodox Reading of Paul Ricoeur.

Photo of dr. Brian Butcher

Dr. Brian Butcher.

About the book

Liturgical Theology After Schmemann: An Orthodox Reading of Paul Ricoeur ​(Fordham University Press, 2018). 

While only rarely reflecting explicitly on liturgy, French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) gave sustained attention to several themes pertinent to the interpretation of worship, including metaphor, narrative, subjectivity, and memory. Inspired by his well-known aphorism, “The symbol gives rise to thought,” Liturgical Theology after Schmemann offers an original exploration of the symbolic world of the Byzantine Rite, culminating in a Ricoeurian analysis of its Theophany “Great Blessing of Water.” 

The book examines two fundamental questions:

1) What are the implications of the philosopher’s oeuvre for liturgical theology at large? And 2) how does the adoption of a Ricoeurian hermeneutic shape the study of a particular rite? Taking the seminal legacy of Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) as its point of departure, Butcher contributes to the renewal of contemporary Eastern Christian thought and ritual practice by engaging a spectrum of current theological and philosophical conversations.

About dr. Brian A. Butcher

Brian A. Butcher is currently Lecturer and Research Fellow in Eastern Christian Studies in the Faculty of Theology at the University of St. Michael's College. He has taught for the Institute for the past seven years; at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, as Assistant Professor, he offered courses in both Eastern and Western Christian traditions.
His first major monograph has recently been published with Fordham University Press: Liturgical Theology After Schmemann: An Orthodox Reading of Paul Ricoeur. 
Other publications of note include a chapter on Orthodox sacramental theology in the 16-19th centuries, in the Oxford Handbook of Sacramental Theology (OUP, 2015). Dr. Butcher also lectures at Ottawa’s Augustine College.

His professional associations include membership in the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Oriental Liturgy and the North American Academy of Liturgy. He is a subdeacon in the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church.

Published June 13, 2019 9:31 AM - Last modified June 13, 2019 10:21 AM