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Original Post (Thread Starter)
by SuscipeMeDomine
SuscipeMeDomine
Christ is Risen!

Does anybody know where I can find a physical or virtual copy of Through Their Own Eyes: Liturgy as the Byzantines Saw it by Fr. Robert Taft?

Thank you!
Liked Replies
by MarkosC
MarkosC
I have this book (and the price sticker on the back says $20, which it was when I purchased this like 15 years ago frown ) and took a quick re-look at it.

It's a collection of like three lectures given over the course of a day or two, along with Q&A.

His approach here is to move from the "study liturgy by means of charting differences and changes in manuscript texts" approach to an approach where you study the documentation of how people actually experienced, worshipped, and participated in the Divine Liturgy, Orthros, Vespers. He repeats and builds from several concepts and quips that will be familiar to those in his later years.



Overall, it's an interesting approach and I'd say if I were teaching a class on any kind of liturgy circa the late 10s I'd definitely put it on the syllabus because it reflects and important scholarly and even practical way to look at the subject. Today, it's not only unavailable but I have no idea if there's Russian, Greek, or even English scholarship that's superseded it. It deserves to be at least available through a variety of academic libraries.



As an example of something relevant to "how the Byzantines saw liturgy" that's moved on since his repose but is still to my understanding in its infancy is the musical manuscripts - only complicated ones were written down at first to my understanding starting in the 1000s - and any kind of interpretation requires a lot of work. However, the liturgical texts were set to music, transmitted via oral tradition, which the current Byzantine Received Tradition reflects but almost certainly is not "the original as it was originally sung".

That said, we do have things on how the Byzantine experienced liturgy, like this cherubikon performance [youtu.be] , reflecting work unavailable in Father Taft's time.

Of note, that piece is is different from, but at least consistent with, the corpus of current Received Condition. e.g.this cherubikon, sometimes the first cherubikon a chanter learns [youtu.be], as this cherubikon in the first compilation of printed works, and is considered a short and simple piece for weekday liturgy.
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