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1 Thinking Prayer

2

3 Thinking Prayer Theology and Spirituality amid the Crises of Modernity Andrew Prevot University of Notre Dame Press Notre Dame, Indiana

4 Copyright 2015 by the University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana undpress.nd.edu All Rights Reserved Manufactured in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Prevot, Andrew L. Thinking prayer : theology and spirituality amid the crises of modernity / Andrew Prevot. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN (pbk. : alk. paper) ISBN (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Prayer Christianity. 2. Philosophical theology. I. Title. BV210.3.P '2 dc The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources.

5 To the millions who have died in slavery

6 If you are a theologian, you will pray truly. And if you pray truly, you will be a theologian. Evagrius Ponticus I ve been in the storm so long, O give me little time to pray. slave spiritual

7 Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction: The Untold Promise of Prayer 1 Part 1. From Metaphysics to Doxology Chapter 1 Doxological Impurity: Martin Heidegger 37 Chapter 2 Doxological Theory: Hans Urs von Balthasar 70 Chapter 3 Doxological Subtlety: On the Intersections of Prayer and Phenomenology 111 Part 2. Spirituality in a World of Violence Chapter 4 Poverty of Spirit: Johann Baptist Metz 165 Chapter 5 Discernment of Spirits: On the Integrity of Doxology and Liberation 218 Chapter 6 Songs of the Spirit: James Cone 280 Conclusion 326 Notes 335 Bibliography 395 Index 423

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9 AcknowledgmenTS The labor that generated this text would not have been possible without the gracious financial assistance of the University of Notre Dame, the Lilly Endowment, and the Fund for Theological Education. A special note of thanks is due to my Doktorvater, Cyril O Regan. His responses to earlier drafts of these chapters have immensely improved the final product, and his insights concerning the original idea made the completion of this work conceivable to me. Any errors are undoubtedly my own. To my other committee members, Lawrence Cunningham and J. Matthew Ashley, I am likewise greatly indebted, not only for their constant support over the many years that I have been their student, but also for their distinctive efforts to bridge the modern gap between theology and spirituality which have significantly influenced my own. Among the many other faculty at Notre Dame that have shaped my self- understanding as a theologian, I would especially like to thank Mary Catherine Hilkert, for enriching my sense of the dynamics of nature and grace; Kevin Hart, for allowing me to understand what it means to adopt a phenomenological attitude; Michael Signer, for teaching me about the horrific history and the unforeseen promise of Christian- Jewish encounter; Nathan Mitchell, for increasing my appreciation for the church s liturgical imagination; Gerald McKenny, for helping me perceive the political significance ix

10 x Acknowledgments of authentic Christian witness; and Jamie Phelps, for introducing me to the rich traditions of black and womanist theology. I would like to mention, as well, my teachers and mentors at The Colorado College, without whom I would not have been prepared to do work in theology. In particular, I would like to thank my undergraduate advisor in philosophy, Jonathan Lee; my other extraordinarily formative professors Susan Ashley, Carol Neal, John Riker, and David Weddle; and my sources of spiritual support Melissa Nussbaum, Valerie Vela (of blessed memory), Fr. Bart Geger, and Bishop Richard Hanifen. I would also like to express gratitude for my mentor at Boston College, M. Shawn Copeland, who has been an incomparable source of counsel and encouragement and for my research assistant Robert Brodrick, who painstakingly proofread the entire text. The final version has been enhanced greatly by the suggestions of reviewers and the careful editorial guidance of Bob Banning. Moreover, many of my friends have listened to me over the past few years as I began to articulate various inchoate features of my argument, and their perceptive responses consistently challenged me to think more clearly and to overcome potential difficulties. In this regard, I am especially indebted to Steven Battin, Brian Hamilton, Noel Terranova, Daniel Castillo, Kevin McCabe, Bridget O Brien, Todd Walatka, Peter Fritz, Julia Feder, John Thiede, Andrew Downing, Jennifer Martin, David Lantigua, Michael Mawson, Adam Clark, Paul Scherz, Deonna Neal, Katie Grimes, Megan McCabe, Erin Kidd, James DeFrancis, Jordan Wales, John Sehorn, Jay Martin, Matthew Eggemeier, Brandon Peterson, Emeka Ngwoke, Patrick Gardner, Emily Stetler, Awet Andemichael, and Eduardo Gonzalez but the list could certainly continue. To all of my friends: your words to me have been invaluable, and please let us continue the conversation! To my parents, my sisters, and my ancestors: I can only say that I owe you much more than can be repaid and that you are now, and will forever be, very dear to me. To Elizabeth: you have been my most cherished companion and partner, and certainly words cannot say all of the things you mean to me. For all of my loved ones, who

11 Acknowledgments xi have formed my thoughts with their kindness, I give thanks. And to God who knows my many debts and faults, who is the eternal source of all good things, and to whom I try to pray, though often failingly: to you I owe everything, perhaps least of all this text, but certainly not excluding it. May it serve only to give you glory.

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