For most people in most circumstances, reading is a functional activity – you try to take in a text as quickly as possible to extract from it what you need.
In this edition of Things Unseen, Fr Christopher Jamison (who became known to a wider audience as the abbot in the BBC TV series, The Monastery) breaks a lance for sacred reading: the slow reading of a text for the purposes of prayer.
Sacred reading, he explains, is an unhurried and repetitive activity, and it is in that slow repetition in that the text starts to open up and reveal fresh nuances. The most important thing for the reader is to suspend her own urge to question and allow the text to ask her questions instead, challenge her and ultimately transform her.
The A-Z of Things Unseen features speakers from all major faiths in Britain, each choosing a concept or idea which particularly inspires them.