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Christopher D. L. Johnson
Christopher D. L. Johnson is currently Assistant Professor of Global Christianity in the University of North Dakota’s Department of Philosophy and Religion. In the past, he has taught as Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the College of the Bahamas and as Instructor of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama. He has also taught specialized courses on ‘The Spirituality of the Christian East’, ’The Cultural Significance of Holy Fools’, and ‘Culture and Human Experience’ for the University of Alabama’s Honors College and New College. For 2010-11, he served as the faculty advisor for the University of Alabama’s local chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology, and currently serves on the Awards Committee of the Association for the Study of Eastern Christian History and Culture.
He completed his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2009 where he also was granted an M.Sc. with distinction in Religious Studies in 2005. His dissertation was on ‘Authority and Tradition in Contemporary Understandings of Hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer‘. Dr. Johnson received his B.A. in Philosophy from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee in 2003.
His primary area of research is in contemporary Eastern Christian / Orthodox Christian identity. Dr. Johnson’s first book was published in late 2010 by Continuum: The Globalization of Hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer: Contesting Contemplation.
The Globalization of Hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer:
Author/Artist: Christopher D. L. Johnson
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
First published: 2010
The meditative prayer practices known as Hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer have played an important role in the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. This book explores how these prayer practices have spread from a primarily monastic setting within Orthodox Christianity, into general Orthodox Christian usage, and finally into wider contemporary Western culture. As a result of this gradual geographic shift from a local to a global setting, caused mainly by immigration and dissemination of related texts, there has been a parallel shift of interpretation causing disagreement. By analyzing ongoing conversations on the practices, this book shows how such disagreements are due to differences in the way groups understand the ideas of authority and tradition. These fundamental ideas lie beneath much of the current discussion on particular aspects of the practices and also contribute to the wider academic debate over the globalization and appropriation of religious traditions.
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