Bradshaw - Daily Prayer in the Early Church

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Paul F. Bradshaw - Daily Prayer in the Early Church. A Study of the Origin and Early Development of the Divine Office
Contrary to the assumptions made by many scholars of previous generations, and regrettably still made by some of this generation, the Jewish worship to which Jesus and his followers were accustomed was not necessarily identical with that which is found in the second century and later.
Judaism in the New Testament era had not reached the stable and fixed form which it was to have at a subsequent period, but was still in the process of development and change: orthodoxy had not yet become crystallized, variant traditions existed side by side, and new elements were constantly being added. It is therefore extremely dangerous to read back the practices of later Rabbinic Judaism into the New Testament period as though they were unquestionably the universal customs of the time, and we must proceed with great caution in attempting to reconstruct the pattern of daily prayer current among Jews in the first century.

Paul F. Bradshaw - Daily Prayer in the Early Church. A Study of the Origin and Early Development of the Divine Office

WIPF & STOCK, Eugene, Oregon – 2008 y., 206
ISBN 13:978-1-60608-105-1

Paul F. Bradshaw - Daily Prayer in the Early Church. A Study of the Origin and Early Development of the Divine Office – Contents

Preface vii
  • 1. Daily Prayer in First-Century Judaism  
  • 2. Daily Prayer in First-Century Christianity  
  • 3. The Second and Third Centuries  
  • 4. The Cathedral Office in the East  
  • 5. The Monastic Office in the East  
  • 6. The Cathedral Office in the West  
  • 7. The Monastic Office in the West  
Select Bibliography
Index of References
General Index

Paul F. Bradshaw - Daily Prayer in the Early Church. A Study of the Origin and Early Development of the Divine Office - Preface

In liturgical study, and especially in English liturgical study, the subject of the daily office has always been something of the poor relation. The attention of scholars has been concentrated to such an extent upon the Eucharist and upon the rites of Christian Initiation in recent years that many other fields have not received their due consideration, and thus the time seems more than ripe for a new study of the origins and early history of the office. Almost the only textbook on the subject which is available to English students of liturgy is The Influence of the Synagogue upon the Divine Office by Professor C. W. Dugmore, first published by the Oxford University Press in 1944 and reissued by the Alcuin Club in 1964 (Alcuin Club Collections No. 45). While in its day this made a major contribution to the subject, it is now not only out of print but also seriously out of date in the light of the enormous strides in scholarship which have taken place in subsequent years. It is therefore extremely misleading for students to continue to use this work as though it were unquestionably accurate. However, since the majority of more recent research has been undertaken by continental scholars and their findings nearly all buried in the pages of learned journals in foreign languages, they have up to now been effectively inaccessible to most English-speaking students.
Moreover, not only translation but also bridge-building is called for, since such work as has been done has on the whole been pursued in separate, seemingly watertight, compartments: Jewish scholars have worked largely in isolation from New Testament scholars, New Testament scholars largely in isolation from liturgical scholars, and so on, with the result that hardly at all have the findings in one area been related to those in another. Even among liturgical scholars study has tended to be restricted to small areas of the subject, and the effects of new perspectives and discoveries in one historical period or geographical area upon the understanding of the office at other times and in other places have rarely been considered or worked out in full. Even more importantly, there has been a need for some cherished assumptions to be exposed to further scrutiny, assumptions which have been repeated by successive generations of scholars but have not thereby become any more assured of veracity than when they were first made. A fresh look at the evidence, freed from the blinkers of traditional presuppositions, often yields surprising results.
This book is therefore offered as a contribution to a much neglected field of study, and I am grateful to Gabriele Winkler who many years ago encouraged me to begin my labours on it. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Reverend Dr. Geoffrey Cuming for his constant help and interest in my studies, and for his kindness in allowing me to quote extensively from his translation of the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, and also to my colleagues on the Alcuin Club committee for accepting my work for publication.


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