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dialogue. Besides being a world-class scholar, Anscar Chupungco was for me a dear friend, and I shall not forget him. That does not mean I always agreed with him—just as I do not always agree with the constitution of which he was for us a personal face.26 For example, while Anscar knew and wrote about Luther’s liturgical reforms—especially about liturgy in the vernacular and about the participation of the whole priestly people, sixtheenth-century evidences of the continuing inculturation task—he did not always get Lutherans right. With his own commitment to the Roman editio typica as a basis for inculturation, he did not understand that Lutherans also have an ordo missae, already implied in the Lutheran confessions as well as in Lutheran liturgical conservatism, though not guaranteed by any central authority. And what he wrote about Luther on eucharistic rites—that Luther “purged them of any reference to the sacrifice of the cross, and practically reduced the Mass to a community meal”—is simply wrong.27 Furthermore, I was among those participants in the LWF Study of whom he remarked, rather disapprovingly, in one essay, that they “put across a rather negative view of culture.” Ecumenical work on liturgy ought not hide such differences. Still, it always struck me with a kind of amusement that our dialogue was frequently marked by what seemed the charisms of both Roman Catholic and Protestant positions: the commonly Catholic optimistic estimation of culture and the classically Protestant suspicion of human self-deception, including in human cultures. But then we expected Anscar to be Roman Catholic! And I and the others were indeed classical Protestants. Both, at least, were needed. And Anscar entered into our common work as a Roman Catholic now knowing the inside of an international Protestant process for renewal. In the end, as Anscar himself makes clear in his book, a kind of balanced view prevailed. The Nairobi statement talks in a way rare for reflections on liturgy and culture not just about transcultural, contextual, and cross-cultural characteristics, but also about the necessary countercultural themes. Both Anscar and I agreed with that statement, hoping it would be helpful for others. And, as time has gone on, it has become clear that the greatest lack in the Statement and in the work both of Anscar and of the LWF was sufficient attention to liturgical inculturation in a time of multiculturality, hybridity, and postcolonial realities. The new book I have mentioned tries to begin to address that lack. But where I did most deeply agree with Anscar Chupungco, with all my heart, and where all of us who were participants in the study learned from him repeatedly was in his steady insistence that liturgical inculturation belongs to the essence of Christianity and has been part of its character from the beginning. As he would say, there is nothing more traditional to Christian communities than inculturation of the liturgical practice of the Gospel. Christianity is a translation religion. The belief in the incarnation requires this. And “translation” is not only a matter of language—though it certainly is that!—but also a matter of gestures and symbols and festivals and ritual practices, of culture and context. Chupungco’s devotion to “dynamic equivalence” and “creative assimilation,” both of which ideas came to expression in the statements of the LWF Study, mattered to us immensely. What we did not realize at the time was that subsequent leadership in the Roman Catholic Plenary Sessions 51

North American Academy of Liturgy Proceedings 2014  

The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) (http://www.naal-liturgy.org/) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical sc...

North American Academy of Liturgy Proceedings 2014  

The North American Academy of Liturgy (NAAL) (http://www.naal-liturgy.org/) is an ecumenical and interreligious association of liturgical sc...