Prayer is a central aspect of religion. Even amongst those who have abandoned organized religion levels of prayer remain high. Yet the most basic questions remain unaddressed: What exactly is prayer? How does it vary? Why do people pray and in what situations and settings? Does prayer imply a god, and if so, what sort? A Sociology of Prayer addresses these fundamental questions and opens up important new debates.
Drawing from religion, sociology of religion, anthropology, and historical perspectives, the contributors focus on prayer as a social as well as a personal matter and situate prayer in the conditions of complex late modern societies worldwide. Presenting fresh empirical data in relation to original theorising, the volume also examines the material aspects of prayer, including the objects, bodies, symbols, and spaces with which it may be integrally connected.