Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Theology of the Liturgy


Prof. Joris Geldhof

1-12 July 2024, Weekdays

IL: L705
KULeuven: B-KUL-A07I5A, 4 study points

Taught by:
first week: Stefan Geiger
second week: Joris Geldhof 




♦  familiarize themselves with the emergence of liturgical theology in the course of the 20th century

♦  understand the content of A. Schmemann’s, A. Kavanagh’s and D.W. Fagerberg’s approach to liturgical theology

♦  can explain the meaning of the adage lex orandi, lex credendi as well as the reasons why it is both important and controversial

♦  develop a personal and critical standpoint towards the particularity of liturgical theology as it is interpreted by Schmemann, Kavanagh, and Fagerberg

♦  can apply the insights of liturgical theology to methodological issues and to questions of a more systematic-theological nature.

Image of Stefan Geiger OSB

Prof. Stefan Geiger


Hours: To be determined. Typically 14.00 – 17.00 (including one 24 minute break)

The course anticipates the student will spend 60 hours in personal reading and study.

Location: Liturgy Institute London (at Ealing Abbey)
74 Castlebar Road Ealing London, W5 2DD, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8194 2320
For further details or to register contact the Institute:
E-mail Clare Cogswell, the Registrar, at this linked E-mail address.
Location on Google Maps is found here.

KU Leuven awards 4 study points upon the successful completion of  this graduate course.
The Institutum Liturgicum requires this course for its IL certificate.


Previous knowledge

Students have some background in liturgy and liturgical studies.



1. The history and particularity of liturgical theology

2. Schmemann as the initiator of liturgical theology

3. Schmemann continued: Kavanagh and Fagerberg

4. Critical evaluation of Schmemann, Kavanagh, and Fagerberg.


Course Material

The students are invited to purchase a personal copy of the three books by Alexander Schmemann, Aidan Kavanagh, and David W. Fagerberg. Additional reading material will be provided by way of a master copy, which the students can then copy for themselves.


Course activities

The course is organized around a close reading of three books:

♦  ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN, Introduction to Liturgical Theology.

♦  AIDAN KAVANAGH, On Liturgical Theology by Aidan Kavanagh.

♦  DAVID W. FAGERBERG, Theologia Prima. What is Liturgical Theology.

Students are expected to read indicated chapters before each class. Classes will be devoted to intensive discussions of the background, the meaning, and the implications of the claims made by the three central authors.


Evaluation description

Examination type: Three elements are taken into account for the evaluation:

  • class attendance and active participation in the discussions (30%)
  • the quality of a brief presentation in class (20%)
  • the quality of the final essay (50%)

The details about these three elements are clearly communicated in the first session.

When?: permanent assessment, exam outside examination period.

Evaluation type: Open questions.

Explanation: Paper/Project, Presentation, Participation during contact hours.

Second opportunity to sit the exam: Because this is an intensive summer course, the opportunity for a second exam is by appointment and depends upon the availability of the instructor.


Notes: Students must be over 18 years of age.

Students wishing to pursue our programme of studies are encouraged to begin with the two courses L701 Liturgical Research Seminar and L702 Liturgy in the West: History and Context before progressing to other courses.

This course may be taken alone or in conjunction withcourses L701 Liturgical Research Seminar or L702 Liturgy in the West: History and Context.

If students enrol in two concurrent courses, they may wish to prepare for the intensive schedule by reading suggested texts before the course begins.

The instructor will arrange with the students to be available regularly for some time at the Institute and is also available by appointment.

Students and the public are invited to attend the annual St Bede Lecture, to be held at Ealing Abbey on Saturday afternoon 6 July at 2.30 PM.



Non-residential day students are welcome.

Limited accommodation is available through Ealing Abbey house for guests or other religious houses or nearby.


Additional information from KU Leuven course web-site

 Academic year: 2024 − 2025
 Study points: 4
 Language: English
 Difficulty: Master’s level-Intermediate
 Duration: 26.0 hours
 Periodicity: Taught biennially in even numbered years during Block I
 POC: POC Theology and Religious Studies


This course is included in

Research Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (120 ECTS)

Master of Theology and Religious Studies Study Abroad Programme in European Culture and Society (PECS)

A link to the course descriptor at KU Leuven is available here.

Page updated on 22 July 2023 by DM.