Ancient Christian Worship

Early Church Practices in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective

by Andrew B. McGowan (Author), ANDREW MCGOWAN (Author)
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"Consistently learned and insightful, Andrew McGowan offers a comprehensive introduction to the worship life of early Christians. He covers an impressive range of primary materials and deftly sifts through the scholarly debates surrounding them, preparing an easily accessible feast for anyone interested in the origins and multifold forms of early Christian liturgical practice."
--Harold W. Attridge, Yale Divinity School

"This is the book that I wish I had written, but Andrew McGowan has done it so much better. Easily accessible to a nonspecialist reader, it nevertheless contains the fruit of the most up-to-date academic scholarship. Anyone wanting a reliable and comprehensive introduction to the practices of the early Christians must start here."
--Paul Bradshaw, University of Notre Dame

"Ancient Christian Worship is the book that scholars, teachers, and students of early Christianity and liturgical history have long needed. Andrew McGowan provides an authoritative, accessible, and up-to-date synthesis of what we know (and do not know) about the worship lives of the ancient Christians. Anyone interested in the early church or Christian liturgy will learn from this gracefully written and clearly argued book."
--David Brakke, Ohio State University

"Andrew McGowan provides a clear and beautifully written introduction to ancient Christian worship. All readers, from beginners to those more advanced, will be rewarded by both his erudition and his insight. This work justifiably will be cherished by students and teachers alike for generations to come."
--Robin Jensen, Vanderbilt University; author of Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity

"Ancient Christian Worship provides pastors, students, and interested readers with a lively, detailed account of how Christians ate together, prayed, read Scripture, and celebrated with song and dance from New Testament times to the fourth-century basilica churches. The story of diversity and change will encourage twenty-first-century believers struggling with church renewal."
--Pheme Perkins, Boston College

"Essential for the study of early Christianity."
--Larry Hurtado, blog (

"McGowan's book will remain a most valuable companion for the study of early Christian liturgy for a long time to come."
--John F. Baldovin, SJ, Theological Studies


Andrew B. McGowan, Author

Andrew B. McGowan (PhD, University of Notre Dame), an Anglican priest, is president and dean of the Berkeley Divinity School and J. L. Caldwell McFaddin and Rosine B. McFaddin Professor of Anglican Studies and Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School. He previously served as warden of Trinity College, University of Melbourne, and is the author of Ascetic Eucharists: Food and Drink in Early Christian Ritual Meals.

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