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The Phenomenology of Prayer | Fordham Scholarship Online
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The Phenomenology of Prayer

Bruce Ellis Benson and Norman Wirzba


This collection of chapters considers the many dimensions of prayer: how prayer relates us to the divine; prayer's ability to reveal what is essential about our humanity; the power of prayer to transform human desire and action; and the relation of prayer to cognition. The book takes up the meaning of prayer from within a uniquely phenomenological point of view, demonstrating that the phenomenology of prayer is as much about the character and boundaries of phenomenological analysis as it is about the heart of religious life.

Keywords: dimensions of prayer, divine, humanity, human desire, action, cognition, meaning of prayer, phenomenology, phenomenological analysis, religious life

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780823224951
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011 DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823224951.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Bruce Ellis Benson, editor
Department of Philosophy, Wheaton College

Norman Wirzba, editor
Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health, Duke Divinity School

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Front Matter


Bruce Ellis Benson, and Norman Wirzba

Part I: Learning How to Pray

2 Who Prays?

Jill Robbins

3 Becoming What We Pray

Edward F. Mooney

4 Prayer as Kenosis

James R. Mensch

Part II Praying and the Limits of Phenomenology

11 Plus de Secret

Brian Treanor

12 Praise—Pure and Personal?

Christina M. Gschwandtner

Part III Defining Prayer's Intentionality

15 Prayer and Incarnation

Lissa McCullough

17 Proslogion

Philip Goodchild