Awareness of the liturgical seasons of the year has increased greatly in recent years, as the popularity of the "Common Worship Times and Seasons" volume has illustrated. Churches are constantly looking for ways to enrich their seasonal celebrations, and the first point of better celebration is better understanding. Of all the seasons, Advent is the least understood, the least studied. An entirely Western phenomenon without much of a preaching or liturgical tradition, it is characterised as much by its folk customs - the advent wreath and the Feast of St Nicholas - as by its biblical themes. Here is a book that helps to create a fuller theology of Advent. Kenneth Stevenson characteristically draws on biblical, historical and liturgical evidence to show how the churches have understood and kept Advent down the centuries, and finds that the season has much to say to contemporary concerns in today's church and world, from how we do mission to Richard Dawkins' brand of atheism and a surprising number of issues in between.
'...The book is engaging. It reflects on a whole range of issues: the nature of wisdom, leadership and power, handling tradition, inclusion, hope, sovereignty...and ends with a very moving personal perspective on the Coming Of Jesus, gained by having looked death in the eye. The book really took flight after the introduction, so don't get bogged down in this, but head on through it with anticipation. And, when you get into the main part of the book, I would suggest that you start on 17 December with O Sapientia and read a chapter a day'. Praxis News of Worship, December 2007