The Spirit in Worship and
in the Spirit Presenter
Dr. James Steven
James Steven is Tutor in Worship and Doctrine at Trinity College Bristol in the U.K. where he has taught since 2000. After a Natural Science degree in Cambridge he studied Theology in Durham (BA), was ordained in 1987 and completed a PhD at King’s College London whilst in parish and chaplaincy posts. His research thesis was published in 2002 as Worship in the Spirit: Charismatic Worship in the Church of England (Paternoster). He is membership secretary of the British Society of Liturgical Studies and member of the editorial board for the Grove Book worship series.
The Spirit in Contemporary Charismatic Worship
In the last quarter of the 20th Century the worship of many of the historic denominations has been influenced by the charismatic movement. After giving a brief review of the impact of the movement upon patterns of public worship the main aim of this paper is to explore how the Spirit is understood to be encountered in charismatic assembly. Special attention is paid to the ritual patterning of such encounters in the worshipping assembly where the primary function of the Spirit has become that of mediating God’s presence and power. By drawing upon theological, historical and cultural perspectives the paper concludes by offering an evaluation of this contemporary version of ‘worship in the Spirit’.