Early Christian Prayer and Identity Formation

The contributors of this volume address the question of identity among Christ-believers from the viewpoint of prayer. Prayer brings into the discussion several dimensions that make up religious identity. It is attested rather early that prayer was theology performed, and thus intertwined with emerging theologies. Furthermore, prayer was Christocentric in orientation and focus. As of yet, these aspects have not received due attention in scholarly discussions. Christian identity, albeit fragile and complex, was taking shape already in the first century and found itself on the verge between textual phenomenon and social realities. The texts had an impact on those who were exposed to them, in creating representations of social reality, but were not to be identified with that reality. Texts on prayer are prescriptive in that they recommend certain notions of Christian identity, with the addressees invited to embrace certain ways of thinking and acting. The present volume looks into that process.