The Lord's Prayer: A Text in Tradition

The Lord's Prayer: A Text in Tradition

The Lord's Prayer: A Text in Tradition

The Lord's Prayer: A Text in Tradition

Synopsis

"This volume provides a unique historical survey of how the Lord's Prayer has been interpreted throughout the history of Christianity. The author keenly reviews the contributions of theologians and scholars from the early fathers to the contemporary era - from Eastern and Western traditions, and from Catholic and Reformed, Enlightenment and Modernist writers." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Last night, going to bed alone, I suddenly found myself (I was
taking off my waistcoat) reciting the Lord’s Prayer, in a loud,
emphatic voice – a thing I had not done for many years – with
deep urgency and profound and disturbed emotion. While I
went on I grew more composed; as if it had been empty and
craving and were being replenished, my soul grew still; every
word had a strange fullness of meaning that astonished and
delighted me. It was late; I had sat up reading; I was sleepy; but
as I stood in the middle of the floor half undressed saying the
prayer over and over, meaning after meaning sprang from
it; overcoming me again with joyful surprise; and I realized
that simple petition was always universal and always inex
haustible, and day by day sanctified human life.

So wrote the poet Edwin Muir in his autobiography. the day was 1 March 1939 and the circumstances were special. For a start, Muir’s wife was seriously ill, but apart from that, Europe was slowly plunging into war for the second time in the same century. a double-pronged anxiety was therefore pressing on him, as he found himself reciting the Lord’s Prayer when he undressed that night. He does not tell us who taught him the prayer, but it was a familiar text which he may have known for his baptism, which (we subsequently learn) took place when he was three years old. On this particular occasion, he knows that he is saying it louder than usual. the words, so familiar, take on a new intensity of meaning. That intensity strikes him in a . . .

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