Sarah Kathleen Johnson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and a Visiting Fellow at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre, her academic home while conducting ethnographic research in Toronto. Her research at the intersection of sociology of religion and liturgical studies examines the ongoing roles of Christian worship in a changing Canadian religious landscape through a study of baptisms and funerals in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. She has published in journals including Studies in Religion/Sciences Religieuses, Studia Liturgica, Worship, The Hymn, and the Conrad Grebel Review and is the worship resources editor for Voices Together, a new hymnal and worship book for Mennonites in Canada and the United States, and the editor of a companion volume for worship leaders. Sarah will be presenting a paper entitled "Thinking Theologically with Occasional Religious Practitioners." Occasional religious practitioners attend religious services occasionally rather than routinely, most often in association with specific occasions, such as holidays, life-course transitions, or personal or communal crises. Survey data suggests that what I am calling occasional religiosity is the dominant way Canadians relate to religion in the twenty-first century. In contemporary urban contexts it is undeniable that participants in Christian worship have a range of different types of relationships with the church. Nevertheless, liturgical theologians tend to assume worshipers are fully believing, actively practicing, and morally compliant with the tradition. When we let go of these assumptions and learn from liturgical participants themselves, what new insights emerge about the purpose and meaning of Christian worship today?
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