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Rodney A. Werline shifts the scholarly approach to New Testament prayer from source and genre analyses to seeing prayer as a cultural practice, bringing new dimensions of the prayers to light. Assisted by ritual theorists such as Catherine Bell, Pierre Bourdieu, Talal Assad, and Roy Rappaport, Werline illuminates the genius of the New Testament authors and the members of their communities who, through years of embodied practice, acquired an aptitude which humans uniquely possess-the ability through ritual practice to navigate and maintain their relationships with one another and, together, with their God. Werline especially focuses on how their actions brought cultural memory to life, assisted in receiving revelations, protected them from demonic powers, and established and fulfilled their obligations to one another and to that God. The full import of these observations, however, is not possible without placing the prayers within their Second Temple Jewish context. Jewish prayers outside the New Testament should not function as mere "background," but as evidence of a grand cultural enterprise taking place, in which members of the early church actively participated.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781978705586
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