Den tidligkristne bønnens nonverbale aspekter og spørsmålet om identitet

  • Reidar Hvalvik Det teologiske menighetsfakultet, Oslo


The current scholarly discourse on early Christian identity formation has rightly focused on the impact of texts. There are, however, good reasons also to take practice into account, in particular prayer – probably the most common expression of Christian spirituality. This article deals with an often-neglected trait of prayer: the nonverbal aspects (such as space, time, orientation and position of the body). It shows that most of these nonverbal aspects are far from unique to early Jesus-believers; they are common also among Jews, Greeks and Romans. What is specific for Christians is the new interpretation that was given, mostly a kind of Christological interpretation. Against this background the nonverbal aspects of prayer (as interpreted by several texts) had a great potential to be important factors in early Christian identity formation.


Reidar Hvalvik, Det teologiske menighetsfakultet, Oslo

Postboks 5144 Majorstuen; 0302 Oslo, Norge