Writing

sermons
articles, presentations, and lectures
books and books in progress

Walt is an active independent scholar, engaged in writing, publication, and presentation. Because of publication restrictions, copyright, and royalty arrangements, some of these papers are excerpted or presented in draft form. For final versions, please contact him.

“Becoming What You See: Augustine’s Mystagoigia of Deification,” in Theologie Der Liturgie, vol. 6 (Würzburg, DL: Pustet, 2015).
This is the third in a series exploring St. Augustine’s process of liturgical formation of his community in Hippo Regius. Just as his catechetical process was continuous and inclusive, Augustine’s mystagogia was for all the christians of Hippo Regius, and was aimed at the full stature of humanity in Christ.

“The Next Liturgical Renewal: Liturgical History and the Pax Nashotah,” presented at the Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Nashotah, WI, March 27, 2014.
The history of the Holy Week revisions in the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer, 1979, is not at all clear. They have the appearance of “here, Massey Shepherd, stick your stuff in, because we don't have the time to deal with it.” Since Shepherd was a brilliant liturgist, the Holy Week liturgies are wonderful, but they need another look. This lecture proposes some revisions to Easter Vigil.

“A Method in their Praxis,” Worship 88 (2014): 353–366.
A look at how performace theory, particularly post-Stanislavskian dramatic theory can inform liturgical scholarship, and how the practice of dramatic enactment could provide a new basis for training of celebrants.

“Incorporate into the Society of the Spirit: Baptismal Practice and Ecclesiology in Augustine’s North Africa,” in Lizette Larson-Miller and Walter Knowles (eds.), Drenched in Grace: Essays in Baptismal Ecclesiology Inspired by the Work and Ministry of Louis Weil, Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013, 14–31.
This is the second in a series exploring St. Augustine’s process of liturgical formation of his community in Hippo Regius.

“Scribbles between the Lines: Nuance Notation in a Twelfth?-century Plenary Missal,” presented at the Problems in Medieval Liturgy Seminar, North American Academy of Liturgy, Albuquerque, NM, January 2013.
When I was in Reims, France for the 2011 meeting of Societas Liturgica, I visited the Bibliothèque Municipale, and by chance was shown ms. 226. On f.72v, this popped out:
It’s now a research project, analyzing musical grafitti in about 30 tenth- through twelfth-century manuscripts.

“Burying Mrs. Murphy: Theologia Prima/Theologia Secunda—Contemporary Sense and Historical Avatars,” presented at the Liturgical Hermeneutics Seminar, North American Academy of Liturgy, Montreal, PQ, January 2012.
Liturgical Studies has an unfortunate addiction to profound-sounding Latinate phrases that tend to cloud our thinking. Theologia prima/Theologia secunda is one such neologism, and in this paper I attempt to trace its (very short and recent) history in hope that we can develop a more healthy relationship between liturgiology and historical theology.

“Textual Reasoning about Liturgy: Synaxial Intercessions in the Early Latin West,” (with M. Kate Weber) presented at the Liturgical Hermeneutics Seminar, North American Academy of Liturgy, Milwaukee, WI, January, 2010.
Kate and I had an ongoing conversation about language games (à la Wittgenstein) and ways of bridging the gulf between hitorical liturgical studies and liturgical theology. We found the ideas of Peter Ochs and his colleagues on textual reasoning interesting and so tried to apply it to the issue of intercessory prayer in the context of the eucharist. This discussion paper was the result.

“Holy Week in Hippo: The Weeks Surrounding Easter in a North African Parish,” Studia Liturgica 40 (2010): 153–66.
Originally presented at the Sidney, Australia meeting of Societas Liturgcia, the international scholarly society for the study of liturgy, this was also published in French as “La semaine sainte à Hippone: Les semaines autour de Pâques dans un communauté nord-africaine,” La Maison-Dieu, 264 (2010).
This paper, which explored an area of liturgical practice which got lopped off on the prucrustean bed of writing a dissertation, was the first first in my series on Augustine’s practice of liturgical formation in the community of Hippo Regius. With a couple more of these (I'm planning on presenting the fourth, on the differences and similarities between monastic and lay formation at the 2015 meeting of Societas), I’ll have written a book about this!

“Consecration of Shrines.” in Larissa Taylor, ed. Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage. Leiden, NL: Brill, 2010.
My very first publication as a liturgical historian. I'll bet you didn't know that stations of the cross originated as part of the ceremonies of the consecration of a church, or that there are fourteen crosses because of alphabetic counting, because I didn't before writing this short piece.