SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

A Brief History of Sunday: From the New Testament to the New Creation

Eerdmans. May 2017. 160p. notes. ISBN 9780802874719. pap. $16. REL
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One might think that a history of Sunday could fit into a single paragraph. However, González (A History of Christian Thought) shows that the story is not so straightforward. His narrative traces the linear development of Sunday observances from the early church to medieval times to the English Reformation. From there, he centers on the reformation and how the practices during that time became almost universally adopted—even where Christians represented a distinct minority. Within this history an interplay of different themes rise, fall, and resurface. Employing theological, civil, and linguistic resources, González presents Sunday as a celebration of Jesus's resurrection with the mystery of the Eucharist within a marginalized community. The author then follows the evolution of Sunday through several iterations as that community expanded into the larger world. González ends by noting that Christianity again is starting to be divided; some believers are reconnecting to the sacredness of the Eucharist while others are rediscovering a day of celebration.
VERDICT An enjoyable, approachable, and impeccably evenhanded work that is more than a mere outline of its subject.

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