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This book explores an early phase of this history, the "monastic Middle Ages," during which the act of reading remained closely associated with prayer in a practice known as lectio divina. It is the author's belief that "our ongoing scientific and humanistic investigations of reading have not yet sufficiently taken the medieval religious experience into account; additionally, we have much of value to learn from a review of medieval theory and from a rereading of the texts that put theory into practice."
This book describes the disciplines of lectio divina's focus on subjective experience, that biblical exegesis springs from the contrasting, complementary belief that the scriptural text has one or more objective meanings to be discovered. That fundamental assumption spans various systems of interpretation and underlies the vast literature of commentary extending from late antiquity through the Middle Ages. Exegesis and lectio divina develop, as it were, in tandem throughout this period. The two disciplines overlap, however.
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