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Praying and Believing in Early Christianity: The Interplay between Christian Worship and Doctrine Paperback – August 1, 2013
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The writing is incisive and lucid, and the arguments are never anything less than forensic and compelling in terms of their delineation and meticulously established underpinnings. Particularly valuable is Johnson's keen observation that early Christian personal devotion to Christ (or Mary, for that matter) was not necessarily confined to some hypothetical "low religion" of the uneducated -- one that was divorced from the lofty theological interests of the so-called Christian elite. Private prayer was vigorously informed by official liturgical/communal prayer and vice versa from the very beginning.
This is a concise and rather effective compendium of erudite essays that merits inclusion in any thorough library of ancient Christian history, and is especially recommended for those with an interest in ancient liturgical traditions and how these helped form the foundations of orthodox belief. Though this sort of work is best grasped by readers who have reached the masters level of university education, Johnson's scholarship is fluent and ordered enough to manifest a reasonable accessibility for any student of ancient Christianity who possesses a sturdy intellect and at least some coherent understanding of the developmental aspect of the history of Christian belief and practice.