Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Theology of the Liturgy

geldhofIL: L705; PIL:95558
KULeuven: B-KUL-A07I5A, 4 study points

Taught by: 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.

Students enrolling for credit at KU Leuven:

This course is taught at Ealing Abbey, London from 6-17 July 2020 for academic year 2020-2021. This course is completed well before enrolment at KU Leuven opens at the end of August. To enquire please write to:  il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org. After successfully completing this course at Ealing, you may thereafter enrol for this course at KU Leuven to receive KU Leuven study points / ECTS credits.

Dates: 6-17 July (free days Saturday 11, Sunday 12)

Hours: 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 8862 2156
For further details or to register contact the Institute at:
E-mail: il AT liturgyinstitute DOT com

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.

This course may be taken alone or in conjunction with L703 Western Liturgical books or L713 Christian Initiation.

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.

Dates: Block I

6-10 July (Monday to Friday; Saturday 11, Sunday 12 are free days)
13-17 July (Monday to Friday)

Students and the public are invited to attend the annual St Bede Lecture, to be held at Ealing Abbey on Saturday afternoon 11 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.

Residential students may arrange to arrive on Saturday 4 July or Sunday 5 July or before the lecture begins at 14.00 on Monday 6 July 2010.

Residential students may arrange to depart depart after the lecture ends at 17.00 on Friday 17 or on Saturday 18 July 2020.

Additional information from KU Leuven course web-site

 Academic year: 2020−2021
 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 29 August  2019 by DM.