Lure of Transcendence and the Audacity of Prayer
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Publisher: JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck)
Number of Pages: 302
The discourse of prayer responds to the abiding lure of transcendence. From Gilgamesh to the primordial human beings in Eden to Odysseus, the quest for ultimate truths has summoned forth all manner of human effort - courageous, desperate, pious, impious, successful, failed, invited, forbidden - and like all such lures, one can never be certain whether the glimmer of transcendence is that of a bright and shining star that illuminates the shadows or only a shiny object that seduces one into an inescapable darkness (a fishing lure, for example). In this study, Samuel E. Balentine demonstrates how prayer's invocation of God transgresses the limits of human beings. The author shows how inviting, let alone commanding God to speak may be the "acme of bardic pretention," but in the ancient world such transgression characterizes the audacity of prayer.