Praying Together: Corporate Prayer and Shared Situations

Zygon 54 (3):702-730 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this article, we give much needed attention to the nature and value of corporate prayer by drawing together insights from theology, philosophy, and psychology. First, we explain what it is that distinguishes corporate from private prayer by drawing on the psychological literature on joint attention and the philosophical notion of shared situations. We suggest that what is central to corporate prayer is a “sense of sharedness,” which can be established through a variety of means—through bodily interactions or through certain environments. Second, we argue that corporate prayer, when understood as a kind of shared situation, enables common knowledge, as well as a kind of alignment between participants. Through this process, participants’ attention is focused on the same target and affiliation between participants increases. Thus, we suggest, one benefit of understanding corporate prayer as a shared situation is that it establishes and deepens a sense of community in such a way that common purposes and goals can be enacted more effectively.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,264

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Mu’tazilite Qadi Abdul Jabbar’s View on Prayer.Jenan Izadi & Hajar Mahvari Habibabadi - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 17 (65):45-70.
Toward a Process Philosophy of Petitionary Prayer.Kevin Timpe - 2000 - Philosophy and Theology 12 (2):397-418.
A moral problem about prayer.Saul Smilansky - 2014 - Think 13 (36):105-113.
Is praying for the morally impermissible morally permissible?Daniel Peterson - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 75 (3):254-264.
Praying to Die.Jonathan K. Crane - 2015 - Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (1):1-27.
Praying for outcomes one knows would be bad.Tj Mawson - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (4):551-560.
An Augustinian response to Jean-Louis Chrétien’s phenomenology of prayer.Silvianne Aspray - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 79 (3):311-322.


Added to PP

16 (#669,501)

6 months
4 (#183,661)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Joshua Cockayne
University of St. Andrews

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Relevance.D. Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1986 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 2.
Collective Intentions and Actions.John Searle - 1990 - In Philip R. Cohen Jerry Morgan & Martha Pollack (eds.), Intentions in Communication. MIT Press. pp. 401-415.
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David K. Lewis - 1971 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 4 (2):137-138.
You, Me, and We: The Sharing of Emotional Experiences.D. Zahavi - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (1-2):84-101.

View all 24 references / Add more references