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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The beginnings of a distinctive Christian theology lie in the conviction that human beings had been granted a new level of access to or presence to the God of Israel through the death and rising of Jesus: they were introduced into the heavenly sanctuary and accorded the dignity of priests and the intimacy of access to God as sons and daughters of the Father of Jesus. This prompts both doctrinal definition and definitional reserve: some new things must be said about God, but there is an intensified sense of what cannot be said of God, and of the truth that God cannot be an object among others. This becomes a central tension in the tradition of ‘mystical’ writing and reflection, but is congruent with central theological affirmations about the encounter of finite and infinite action in Christ and in Christ’s people. In both individual and corporate prayer, this is understood as a present anticipation of eternal relatedness, so that the ‘mystical’ is essentially an eschatological category.

Keywords: contemplation, Temple, Christology, eschatology, dispossession, mystery

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