Date of Award

Spring 2006

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




In 1989, I completed a master's degree in theology but shortly thereafter I found myself employed in a quite different field- from 1990 until 2000 I worked as a psychiatric case manager in Seattle. During part of that period, I pursued a master's in pastoral studies and engaged in the music ministry in my parish. These three activities on the face of it admittedly appear quite disparate, and yet I did not experience any interior conflict among them. However, if one were to ask me at the time how I would explain their inner unity - how liturgy, theological reflection, and service of others were inter-dependent dimensions of a single Christian life - I would have been hard-pressed to give a coherent answer. More and more I yearned for that deeper understanding by which I could explain to myself and others how what I did in liturgical worship had any direct meaning to my professional work of helping others, especially those most disadvantaged in our society. If I could but find such an integral vision, it would, ideally, situate these two aspects of my Christian life not merely in parallel but as mutually informing one another, forming a single whole. Such a framework, too, would incorporate more than just my life but the lives of all other believers as well. My investigation of this question took a significant leap forward when I encountered Louis-Marie Chauvet's book Symbol and Sacrament during my doctoral studies at Marquette. This present study is a direct outgrowth of this encounter, augmented by extensive reading in Chauvet's other books and articles as well as in secondary literature on Chauvet. Louis-Marie Chauvet presents an understanding of Christian existence as a coherent whole realized by an interplay of three fundamentally different ways in which God acts in Christian life: in Scripture, in the Church's liturgical worship, and in Christian witness and service in everyday life. Whether his is the most successful present-day venture of its kind is obviously a matter for history to decide, but I can say that it is certainly the best articulation that I have come across in the more than 15 years that I have grappled with the question of relating liturgy to ethics. This study attempts to set forth the reasons why this is so.



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