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Aquinas at Prayer: the Bible, mysticism and poetry 

Portrayal not of a dry academic but a believer fully engaged with the community at prayer


Aquinas at Prayer: the Bible, mysticism and poetry
By Paul Murray OP
Bloomsbury
ISBN  978-1-4411-0755-8
Reviewer: Stephen Copson

Aquinas at PrayerBy any standards, the Dominican Thomas Aquinas was a giant of scholastic philosophy and theology. Paul Murray seeks also to portray him as a man of passion, prayer and poetic imagination.

By taking an in-depth look at four prayers, exegesis on St Paul and the Psalms and with an exploration of the hymns and canticles of the liturgy for the festival of Corpus Christi prepared by Aquinas, what he presents is a picture not of a dry academic but a believer fully engaged with the community at prayer and understanding the need for the woman or man in Christ to be seized by a yearning after God that transcends words and worship. 
 
This book will probably find an audience among those already with an appreciation of Roman Catholic spirituality. Its assumptions will make it terra incognita for many Baptists, and yet there is something here of the ‘beyond our experience’ that invites to a deeper searching.
 
In offering Aquinas as “the mystic on campus”, the author catches beautifully the creative interplay of theology and spirituality. As Baptists as we reflect (as we should), on what sort of mission satisfies intellect and heart, we would do well to reflect how to value both the enquiring mind and the enlivening experience of faith.
 

Stephen Copson is a regional minister of the Central Baptist Association

 

Baptist Times, 20/02/2014

 
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