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Meditation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Cultural Histories Hardcover – 24 Oct 2013


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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 S lid 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.

About the Author

Halvor Eifring is a Professor in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo, Norway

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