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Faith and Philosophy

Volume 36, Issue 1, January 2019

Joshua Cockayne
Pages 33-55
DOI: 10.5840/faithphil2019115115

Common Ritual Knowledge

How can participating in a liturgy allow us to know God? Recent pathbreaking work on the epistemology of liturgy has argued that liturgy allows individuals to gain ritual knowledge of God by coming to know-how to engage God. However, since liturgy (as it is ordinarily practiced) is a group act, I argue that we need to give an account to explain how a group can know God by engaging with liturgy. If group know-how is reducible to instances of individual know-how, then the existing accounts are sufficient for explaining a group’s knowing-how to engage God. However, I argue, there are good reasons to suppose that reductive accounts of group know-how fail. In this paper, I propose a non-reductive account of common ritual knowledge, according to which the group knows-how to engage God in liturgy.