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.
Halvor Eifring (ed.)
MEDITATION IN JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
Meditation in Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Technical Aspects of Devotional Practices
Halvor Eifring, Professor of Chinese, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo
Ancient Hebrew Meditative Recitation
Terje Stordalen, Professor of Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo
Mystics without Minds? Body and Soul in Merkavah Mysticism
Michael D. Swartz, Professor of Hebrew and Religious Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, The Ohio State University
Meditative Prayer in Moshe Cordovero’s Kabbalah
Alan Brill, Cooperman/Ross Endowed Chair of Jewish-Christian Studies, Department of Religion, Seton Hall University
Spiritual Friendship as Contemplative Practice in Kabbalah and Hasidism
Lawrence Fine, Irene Kaplan Leiwant Professor of Jewish Studies, Mount Holyoke College
Meléte in Early Christian Ascetic Texts
Per Rönnegård, Research Fellow, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University
The Early Jesus Prayer and Meditation in Greco-Roman Philosophy
Henrik Rydell Johnsén, Research Fellow, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Lund University
Meditation in the East Syrian Tradition
Serafim Seppälä, Professor of Systematic Theology and Patristics, School of Theology, Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland
The Pathless Path of Prayer: Is There a Meditation Method in Meister Eckhart?
Jeffrey Cooper, Assistant Professor, Theology Department, University of Portland
Teresa Of Avila’s Evolving Practices of ‘Representing’ Christ in Prayer
Mary Frohlich, Associate Professor of Spirituality, Catholic Theological Union of Chicago
Jesuit Ekphrastic Meditation: Louis Richeome’s Painting in the Mind
Judi Loach,Interdisciplinary Research Professor in the Humanities, Cardiff University
Imageless Prayer and Imagistic Meditation in Orthodox Christianity
Augustine Casiday, Honorary Research Fellow, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University
Sufi Dhikr Between Meditation and Prayer
Jamal J. Elias, Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Movement and Stillness: The Practice of Sufi Dhikr in Fourteenth-Century Central Asia
Shahzad Bashir, Lysbeth Warren Anderson Professor in Islamic Studies, Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University
Music and Remembrance as Meditation: Sama’ in the Indus Valley
Michel Boivin, Senior Fellow, Centre for South Asian Studies, CNRS-EHESS
The Natural Science of Meditation – A ‘Black Box’ Perspective?
Svend Davanger, Professor of Neuroscience, Institute of Basic Medical Science, University of Oslo
“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 Sælid 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.
Meditation in Jodaism, christianity and Islam, was practiced, tested and presented in the old days. as well as in recent days. As Jodaism is the oldest Religion from all our wholy three religions, it started in their fields of praying, or in the process of preparing for the cermonies, that time were out side any kind of building or some thing else. The old Jewish Religion was at the very beginning of the formation of the believe in God was a result of long Meditaion, between and among their followers. The same thing according to Chrsitianity, the born of Jesus Christ and at the same time the born or the birth of the newe Relgion was determined, detected and directed through out sittings of Meditaions. Later at the time when the followers started to to distribute their believes and thoughts and ideas all around the world, they were done and determined after a time of Meditation. In Islam, they were in some aspects, till now are meditating, when the people are reading their wholy books, like the Jews and the Christians, also the Moslem are reading and writing their believes and ideas while they are meditating. the Sufis and other small groups of people, in Egypt and Syria, Iraqu and many arabic countries, they have the Meditation as cermonies, contests and even festivals, but they are in fact pure Medittaion.
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