Dix, Gregory

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Historian and liturgist; b. Oct. 4, 1901; d. May 12, 1952. He was educated at Westminster and Merton College, Oxford, and ordained to the Anglican ministry in 1924. He joined the Anglican Benedictine communion of Nashdom in 1926, and became its prior in 1948. Dix's main interest was the study of Christian thought and its manifestation in the liturgical usages of Western and Eastern churches. He published The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (London 1937). His book, A Detection of Aumbries (Westminster 1942), about the history of Eucharistic reservation, aroused much interest, but his scholarship was shown to be somewhat defective by the critical study of S. J. P. Van Dijk and J. H. Walker, The Myth of the Aumbry (London 1957). Dix's best work, The Shape of the Liturgy (Westminster 1944), analyzes and compares the texts and actions that go to make up several of the early liturgical rites. Discussing these in the light of Scripture and tradition, Dix produces a vivid picture of the Eucharistic rites of the primitive Church. He shows a rare ability for opening up new and exciting lines of approach, and evaluating the religious and theological factors influencing early liturgical developments.

Bibliography: f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 409.

[c. w. howell]