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Liturgical Action From A Language Perspective About Performance And Performatives In Liturgy

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Chapter Summary

The main purpose of this article is to help clear up actual and possible misconceptions and confusion in liturgical science about the notions of performance, performativeness and performatives. It relies mainly on J. R. Searle's version of speech act theory, which he bases on his theory of intentionality and, more specifically, his theory of collective action. His key concepts are not performance or performativeness, but action, speech act and performative. This article is built round these three concepts. The cardinal question in this article is how an approach to the language of liturgy as a totality of speech acts can further the achievement of the aim of liturgical science as a practical-theological discipline. The answer is, briefly, as follows. The performance comprises the execution, enacted or not, direct or otherwise, of various kinds of speech acts, with or without metaphorical meaning, with a view to collective communication with God.

Keywords: action; liturgy; performance; performatives; speech act



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