Meditative practices have flourished in widely different parts of Eurasia, yet historical research on such practices is limited. Research to date has focused on contexts rather than actual practices, and within individual traditions.
For the first time in one volume, the meditative practices of the three traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are examined. They are viewed in a global perspective, considering both generic and historical connections to practices in other traditions, particularly in India and East Asia. Their cultural and historical peculiarities are examined, comparing them both to each other and to Asian forms of meditation.
The book builds on a notion of meditation as self-administered techniques for inner transformation, a definition which focuses on transformative practice rather than notions of meditative states and
mystical experiences. It proposes ways of studying meditative practice historically, and concludes with an essay on the modern scientific interest in meditation.
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 603 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm
Meditation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a well written book with several strengths. One is that it focuses on meditation in Western religions - this is much less studied than meditation in Eastern religions. A second strength is that the book has a cross-cultural comparative and historical approach to meditation, both in focusing on the three Western monotheistic religions and in also including a comparison with East Asian and Indian traditions. A third strength is its focus on meditative practices rather than on ideas. Meditation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a fresh start in the study of meditation and greatly advances research in the field. * Ingvild Saelid Gilhus, Professor of Religion, University of Bergen, Norway *
Meditation is a practice found in virtually all religions. This remarkable collection of essays explores the practice of meditation in the Abrahamic religions, proceeding phenomenologically, proposing to see meditation as a `self-administered technique for inner transformation'. With clarity and scholarship, the different ways in which meditation functions in the different religions-and within them-are revealed. One of the strengths of the book is the frequent willingness of the contributors to acknowledge that meditation, thus understood, cannot be confined to the phenomenological, but draws the discussion insistently into the realm of prayer. -- Andrew Louth, Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University UK and Visiting Professor of Eastern Orthodox Theology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.