Chapter

Themes in Prayer and Mystical Theology

John Renard

in Islam and Christianity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520255081
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948334 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255081.003.0010
Themes in Prayer and Mystical Theology

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This chapter explores personal prayer and the individual believer's relationship to God and also mentions mystical theology in Islam and Christianity. Traditions of personal prayer in both Christian and Islamic traditions afford essential but often overlooked theological insights. Prayer that has nourished the inner lives of Christians and Muslims over the centuries has generally served three theological purposes: praise, supplication, and intercession. Both emphasize the fundamental and, at least theoretically, unbridgeable gap between Creator and creature, divine and human realities; and both have articulated theological mechanisms by which to explain that God nevertheless maintains a firm bond with all creatures and with human beings in particular. Mystical theologies explore the scriptural bases and creedal implications of this spiritual development, in light of theological concepts of God and the limits of the divine-human relationship. At the core of mystical theology is the conviction that scriptures and later repositories of Christian and Islamic wisdom contain essential images and insights into the human condition.

Keywords: personal prayer; divine-human relationship; mystical theology; praise; supplication; intercession

Chapter.  8132 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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