Inculturating Liturgy in Sri Lanka


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Joint Liturgical Studies 90

The Church of Ceylon, in Sri Lanka, is an extra provincial Anglican church whose two dioceses are locally run but with oversight from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Christians, and among them Anglicans, are a small group in a predominantly Buddhist and Hindu country. There is  a well known history of violence and hostility between various groups in the country, including the recent bombing of churches. This context leads to an existential need to engage in inter-faith dialogue and contextualization. Are Christians essentially drawn out of their culture and become foreigner in Sri Lanka?  In the Church of Ceylon there has been a long tradition of inculturation in dress, architecture, music and liturgical text. This study tries to bring this story to light. While questions of inculturation and contextualization are of importance throughout the Christian church, the story of the Church of Ceylon is not well known. It deserves to be known better and is an example to other parts of the Anglican Communion.  While each context is different some of the work in Sri Lanka will be of help in other places where there are significant Buddhist communities.

The book is authored by several Sri Lankan experts in liturgy, and an Englishman, who has worked as Editor. details are given in the book of the various authors.

Rev’d Canon Dr Phillip Tovey has edited the book. He is Principal of the Oxford Local Ministry Program and Warden of Readers. He has written widely on inculturation and liturgy in the Anglican Communion. He has had long associations with the Inter-Anglican Liturgical Consultations. He has written a few volumes in this series, the previous one being JLS 79 ‘Eighteenth-Century Anglican Confirmation’ .