The Embodied Heart: Prayer and Praxis in the East and West

Module Level

7

Assessment

Reflective Learning Journal (30%) and Reflection Paper/Essay (70%).

Module Aims

At the heart of the Chritian mystery is God's embrace of all humanity in Jesus of Nazareth who dwelt among us (see John 1:14), in order to call us and bring us from darkness into God's own wonderful light (see 1 peter 2:9). The saving mission of the  Son is not something that happens beyond us, or in spite of us, but deep within us. As the word of God is not a far-off word, but a word that is in our hearts and on our lips. (see Deut 30:11 - 14 and Rom 10:6 - 8), to pray is to welcome the mystery of the Son who, in the Spirit, dwells deeply within every human person. To pray is to embrace the One who became human so that every human being might become divine (see St Athanasius, On the Incarnation, §54). To pray is to seek the awakening of the heart that can only be achieved by the Word of God. It is in such a perspective that this module offers a theological and practical introduction to Christian prayer in light of the spiritual traditions of the Western and Eastern worlds.

Learning Outcomes

  • be familiar with the roots, history and dimensions of Christian praye
  • be able to recognise the various stages, dynamics and contours of Christian prayer
  • be capable critically to explore non-dualistic approaches to the person as embodied reality, and to God as creator and source of all life;
  • will be able actively to participate the silent prayer of both Western and Eastern traditions.

Bibliography

  • Casey, Michael. Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer. Ligouri: Triumph Books, 1996.
  • Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. Ligouri: Triumph Books, 1995.
  • Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. Ligouri: Triumph Books, 1995.
  • Louf, André. Teach Us to Pray: Learning a Little about God. London: DLT, 1974.
  • Ryan, Thomas. Prayer of Heart and Body: Meditation and Yoga as Christian Spiritual Practice. New York & Mahwah: Paulist, 1995.