Paul R. Nelson

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It is a privilege to be invited to offer a "keynote" address to the Institute of Liturgical Studies, where so much serious reflection and energy for the renewal and study of Christian worship has been generated. As will become clear to you almost immediately, "keynote" today does not mean key in the sense of offering the key concept that is needed to unlock all subsequent deliberation on the important topic of forming Christians. In my case, "key" refers more frankly and realistically to the indispensable need to start somewhere by opening the door to subsequent work in the institute-with its speakers, its group sessions and workshops, and its liturgies. In a real sense what is needed at this year's institute is not so much a key but a whole ring of keys. We who gather build on the two previous years' work on worship, culture, and catholicity. Having explored the tensions between worship and culture in 1997, and the eschatological dimensions of those relationships in 1998, the institute this year turns to a moment of advocacy for the indispensable task of forming Christians.

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