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Prayer in Religion and Spirituality

Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion Issue number 4, 2013

Prayer in Religion and Spirituality

Edited by

Giuseppe Giordan (University of Padua) and Linda Woodhead (University of


Call for Papers

Prayer brings together the individual, society and the sacred. Although surveys show high levels of self-reported prayer even in ‘secular’

Europe, the topic remains under-researched and under-theorised in sociological circles. Far from being a purely individualistic or ‘psychological’ practice, prayer also lends itself to socio-cultural analysis.

We seek research contributions which advance the theoretical and conceptual agenda in relation to the sociology of prayer, and which may also contribute to new data and information about this topic.

Methodological reflections are also welcome, since research on prayer raises a range of interesting methodological and epistemological issues – including about how religion research may differ from other forms of social scientific research, and may challenge implicitly secularist agendas.

Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

• varieties and practices of prayer (including in different traditions) • prayer and emotion • visual and material practices of prayer • linguistic and liturgical forms • symbolic forms and objects associated with prayer • cultural representations of prayer • new forms of mediation • personal and corporate prayer • historical and changing forms of prayer • prayer and social stratification • prayer and social power • prayer and the body • the ‘objects’ or foci of prayer (whether conceived as divine, supra-human, supernatural, post-mortem etc.); other relational aspects of prayer

We wish to remain open, rather than be prescriptive, about how prayer is defined, and how the boundaries with other topics and concepts – such as meditation, devotion, intercession, possession – are drawn. We welcome reflection and debate on such topics. There is no intended restriction to the Christian tradition.

Send all proposals to Giuseppe Giordan:

Submission of proposals (between 250 and 300 words): November 15, 2011 Notification of acceptance: December 15, 2011 Completed manuscripts (between 7,000 and 8,000 words): June 15, 2012