Ladd begins the interview by discussing what it means to pray. Perhaps most important, he explains how prayer is defined for research purposes, emphasizing that there is no essential definition, nor is one desirable. In taking care to uphold a scientific understanding of prayer, rather than a theologically apologetic one,...

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About this episode

234_Praying_PalsPrayer. Communicating with a Transcendent deity is a nearly universal and integral part of many ‘religions’ around the world. For many western traditions, prayer can be done anywhere, at anytime and by anyone. There are even Dr. Kevin Ladd.

 

MonksIn his interview with Thomas Coleman, Dr. Ladd gives an overview on the psychology of prayer. Ladd begins the interview by discussing what it means to pray. Perhaps most important, he explains how prayer is defined for research purposes, emphasizing that there is no essential definition, nor is one desirable. In taking care to uphold a scientific understanding of prayer, rather than a theologically apologetic one, Ladd understands prayer as a “psychological phenomena”, but with a “theological sensitivity to it”. In other words, we can understand prayer from a scientific point of view while also recognizing its (typically) theological basis. Ladd covers ‘types of prayer’ noting that there is more than one way to categorize differences in prayer. However, is there a secular source or equivalent for prayer? Are there differences between males and females? Does an individual’s age make a difference? Furthermore, if you want to know what a small army of undergraduate researchers, digital cameras, ‘casually dressed’ mannequins, and a labyrinth have to do with prayer research be sure to listen to the interview.

A 'labyrinth'
A ‘labyrinth’

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When Atheists Pray…

An atheist could perform all kinds of prayer in the exact same way a believer does but would not necessarily perceive his (or her) actions to be connected to a higher power. In his interview with Thomas Coleman for the Religious Studies Project, Dr.Kevin Ladd talks about his research on prayer. Dr. Ladd explains how he got interested in the topic,...

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