Denis Renevey
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The emergence of devotion to the name of Jesus in the West
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In this chapter Denis Renevey examines the ways in which writers in the Greek world and, later, western religious teachers used the name of ‘Jesus’ in contemplative practices, and offers ‘answers as to the way in which knowledge of the power of the name “Jesus” was appropriated for different purposes in the two differing Christian traditions, and according to distinct spiritual ideologies’. Renevey discusses the influence of Origen in the development of knowledge about the powerful potential of the name of Jesus and goes on to highlight the attachment to the name in Orthodox liturgical practice from about the ninth century, an attachment that in the fervency of its language anticipates western traditions of affectivity. Among western writers, Renevey focuses on Anselm of Canterbury and Bernard of Clairvaux, the former promoting affective use of the name in personal devotion, the latter in a communal monastic context, as part of a well-conceived devotional scheme.

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