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Prayer

Christian and Muslim Perspectives

David Marshall and Lucinda Mosher, Editors, Afterword by Rowan Williams

Publication Year: 2013

Prayer: Christian and Muslim Perspectives is a rich collection of essays, scriptural texts, and personal reflections featuring leading scholars analyzing the meaning and function of prayer within their traditions. Drawn from the 2011 Building Bridges seminar in Doha, Qatar, the essays in this volume explore the devotional practices of each tradition and how these practices are taught and learned. Relevant texts are included, with commentary, as are personal reflections on prayer by each of the seminar participants. The volume also contains a Christian reflection on Islamic prayer and a Muslim reflection on Christian prayer. An extensive account of the informal conversations at the seminar conveys a vivid sense of the lively, penetrating, but respectful dialogue that took place.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Participants and Contributors

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pp. vii-x

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Introduction

David Marshall

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pp. xi-xiv

This volume presents a record of the tenth Building Bridges seminar for Christian and Muslim scholars, on the theme of ‘‘Prayer,’’ convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and held at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, May...

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Preface

Rowan Williams

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pp. xv-xviii

In a sense it is true to say that Doha is the seedbed for the Building Bridges enterprise over the years. The success of the seminar held here in April 2003 encouraged all those who took part in it to believe that it was possible, desirable, and indeed necessary that the conversations we had...

Part I: Surveys

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Lived Prayer: Some Examples from the Christian Tradition

Michael Plekon

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pp. 3-12

The Long Search, a world religions documentary series, included an episode focused on Christianity in which the host, Ronald Eyre, asked a Benedictine monk, Father Miguel, ‘‘What is prayer?’’ They were at the monastery of Montserrat, surrounded by pilgrims lighting candles...

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A Qur'ānic Theology of Prayer

Reza Shah-Kazemi

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pp. 13-24

‘‘He is the Living One. There is no God save Him. So pray unto Him, making religion purely (sincerely) for Him’’ (40:65).1 This verse may be said to sum up the basic theological attitude toward prayer in Islam. Prayer directed to the one true God is the logical concomitant...

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Muslim Prayer in Practice

M. M. Dheen Mohamed

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pp. 25-40

Prayer in Islam is understood in at least three different ways, with each linked organically to the others: (1) şalāt (ritual prayer), (2) du'ā' (personal supplication), and (3) dhikr (prayer of the heart, recollection, or remembrance of God). All three forms and the manner in which...

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Christian Prayer in Practice

Philip Sheldrake

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pp. 41-52

All forms of prayer necessarily involve particular practices, whether brief or extended, complex or simple, alone or in common. However, from a Christian perspective, practices only make sense, spiritually and theologically, as explicit realizations of something more fundamental— our relationship with God. For this reason I want to begin with...

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A Muslim Response to Christian Prayer

Caner Dagli

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pp. 53-64

I recall that on one occasion my mother, a pious Muslim who grew up in a town in central Anatolia in Turkey, asked her professor son the basic question, ‘‘Do Christians pray to Jesus?’’ with a tone of puzzlement and, it must be said, impending disapproval. Her difficulty stemmed from thinking...

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A Christian Perspective on Muslim Prayer

Daniel A. Madigan

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pp. 65-72

Whenever one talks about prayer, one is treading on holy ground, and that is particularly the case when one is speaking about others’ prayer. One has no access to that secret space in which God and the believer encounter one another most intimately, and...

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Response

Rowan Williams

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pp. 73-76

After the great intellectual and spiritual nourishment of the day, it is a little difficult to boil things down into a few minutes at the end. But I have five words that I have picked up from today’s discussion, on each of which I shall offer some brief reflections. The first word is friendship. The point was made this morning that our...

Part II: Prayer and Scripture

The Lord’s Prayer

Susan Eastman

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pp. 79-90

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Al-Fātiḥa

Rkia Elraoui Cornell

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pp. 91-98

One cannot speak about Sūrat al-Fātiḥa without speaking of prayer because the Fātiḥa is used in every act of al-şalāt, the Muslim formal prayer. Every Muslim who recites her five daily prayers recites the Fātiḥa seventeen times a day. If one prays the Sunna or supererogatory prayers

Prayer in the Spirit in Romans 8

Philip Seddon

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pp. 99-114

In Reverence of the Almighty: Understanding Prayer and Worship in Qur'ān 3:190–94 and 29:45

Asma Afsaruddin

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pp. 115-120

Part III: Learning to Pray

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Learning to Pray with and in the Christian Tradition: Personal Reflections

Lucy Gardner

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pp. 123-134

As is to some extent reflected in the collection of personal reflections at the end of this volume, the Christian tradition offers several different accounts of prayer, and there are at least as many different approaches to learning or teaching to pray. In this chapter I do not attempt...

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Learning to Pray as a Muslim: The Foundational Stage

Ibrahim Mogra

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pp. 135-140

In this brief essay I present my observations and experiences of learning and teaching prayer in Islam. As my focus is on the practical side of learning and teaching to pray at the foundational level, I will say little about the theology and philosophy of prayer in Islam. I will also make very...

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Growing in Prayer as a Christian

Timothy Wright

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pp. 141-146

For me, prayer is a love affair in which words, gestures, and memory all come into play. I have read many books on prayer; most of them offered me little help. Why? Not because their authors are insincere, nor because their authors have not had considerable experience, but because a...

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Growing in Prayer as a Muslim: Reflections and Lessons of a Struggler

Timothy J. Gianotti

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pp. 147-158

I often reflect that the prayer-related growth we most need within the Muslim community is like a hidden treasure buried beneath or within the religious obligation. I say ‘‘obligation’’ here because prayer is often presented and taught as a duty, as something we owe God, rather than as a...

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Conversations in Qatar

Lucinda Mosher

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pp. 159-174

Building Bridges seminars are characterized by what Rowan Williams has called ‘‘appreciative conversation.’’ The size of these gatherings encourages collegiality; so does the methodology. Seminar participants are assigned to break-out groups. Because the membership of...

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Afterword

Rowan Williams

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pp. 175-178

Two themes seem to pervade a great deal of the rich material gathered here. The first is the inescapable recognition in both Christian and Muslim reflection on prayer that it is not enough to think of praying as something we do. A lot of the time we may speak of prayer as if it were a...

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Personal Reflections on Prayer

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pp. 179-200

Before the seminar each participant was asked to write a short personal reflection in response to this request: ‘‘Imagine someone who claims not to understand prayer asking you what prayer means to you. What are your first thoughts? What do you tell this person? Feel free to draw...

Index

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pp. 201-210


E-ISBN-13: 9781626160248
E-ISBN-10: 1626160244

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2013