Titlu: The Lord’s Prayer Through North African Eyes. A Window into Early Christianity
Autor: Michael Joseph Brown
Localitate: New York & London
Editură: T&T Clark International
Anul apariţiei: 2004
Nr. de pagini: xiv+298
I will approach Brown’s book from the perspective of a Christian theologian who experienced the transition from Communism to capitalism in an Eastern European country which is closer to the third world.
Brown sets out his intentions in the Preface and carries them to a conclusion in the seven chapters of the book. He makes clear his methodology, which consists in the use of the term „ethnoreligious” (adopted from Christopher Haas), but without explaining to the reader what the original meaning of the term was and how he came to employ it.
A second methodological device seems to be the use of the term „the cultic didaché” (critical reflection upon cultic practices), from Hans Dieter Betz. The present book represents a reworking of Brown’s dissertation, The Lord’s Prayer Reinterpreted: An Analysis of This Cultic Didaché by Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis VII) and Tertullian (De oratione). Brown begins his enterprise with a somewhat limited view of Jesus Christ (a deceased Galilean prophet) and investigates the ways in which the best-known prayer of all times, the Lord’s Prayer, can be found in the works of Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian of Carthage.
At a first glance, Brown’s intentions seem simple. Once he has established the parameters of his research project, he presents Clement’s and Tertullian’s views of prayer and shows how much the LP influenced them. Finally he brings together his conclusions and sets the two illustrious Christian theologians face to face. Job done. Thus Brown takes what could have seemed to be a relatively limited and simple enterprise and renders it quite comprehensive and well documented. Though speculative and argumentative in his style of discussion, Brown leaves no place for debate, i.e. there seems to be nobody who disagrees with his views. His findings are supported by secondary sources as if everybody were in agreement with what he says.