Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Silent Prayer in Antiquity

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Numen

In antiquity prayers were said out loud and silent prayer was regarded as an anomalous practice that was looked upon with great suspicion. It was brought into connection with a variety of base motives which it was feared would be strongly objected to by others, foremost among which are wishes to practice magic, to have illicit sex, or to conceal crimes or criminal plans. It was also feared that one's prayer might be counteracted or undone by more powerful prayers of the opponents. It is only in circles of later (esp. Neo-)Platonism, in the framework of the increasing transcendentalisation in its concept of deity and the corresponding downgrading of anything material or corporeal, that complete silence as the purest form of worship was gradually accepted. This new trend had its influence on the Jewish philosopher Philo and especially on Churchfathers from Clement of Alexandria onwards (and also on some Hermetic and Gnostic circles). But in Jewish and Christian documents there was also another motive that facilitated a gradual acceptance of silent prayer as a respectable form of worship, namely, the biblical story (in 1 Samuel 1) about Hanna's inaudible prayer that was heard by God. It is the combination of these Platonic and biblical influences that brings about a change of attitude towards speechless prayer in both Judaism and Christianity, but the evidence clearly demonstrates that this was a very slow process, because the old suspicions surrounding this phenomenon did not easily disappear.

Affiliations: 1: Theologische Faculteit Universiteit Utrecht P.O.B. 80.105 NL-3508 Utrecht

Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156852794x00012
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/156852794x00012
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156852794x00012
1994-01-01
2016-12-04

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Numen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation