David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Theology 12 (2):397-418 (2000)
Prayer is one of the central tenets of the major theistic religions, and philosophers of religion have struggled to give a philosophically acceptable account of it. Process philosophies of prayer, in particular, have been criticized for being religiously unfulfilling. In this paper, I critically evaluate previous attempts by Ford, Mason, Cooper and Suchocki to articulate a process philosophy of petitionary prayer. All of these attempts are unsuccessful because they either fail to preserve the importance and uniqueness of prayer or because they reduce prayer to simply a change in the praying subject. After reviewing the previous attempts, I show how one could construct a process philosophy of petitionary prayer out of resources found in Whitehead’s Adventures of Ideas that avoids these problems and is thus more religiously satisfactory to the theist.
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