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Prayer-A Simply Complicated Scholarly Problem

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Chapter Summary

This book seeks a solution to questions on how scholars have approached the complicated issues of the study of prayer in the past and what the future of such a study is. In order to uncover answers, the academics in this work direct their scholarly research at 1. a particular place?the ancient Mediterranean and European regions; 2. a specific period in history?from the time of Jesus down to the Reformation; and 3. an explicit theological tradition?Christianity. The book demonstrates that the academic study of prayer provides unique insights into the history of spirituality. This introductory chapter briefly examines the central prayer of the Christian Church, the Lord?s Prayer (LP). An examination of the seminal figures of Gregory of Nyssa, Evagrius Ponticus, Augustine , Anselm, Thomas Aquinas , and Jan van Ruusbroec in the book provides an overview of pivotal theological thinkers and their spiritual observations on prayer.

Keywords: ancient Mediterranean; Augustine; Christian prayer; Evagrius's theology; Gregory of Nyssa; Jesus; Lord?s Prayer (LP); medieval spirituality; Thomas Aquinas

10.1163/ej.9789004171220.i-460.7
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