Graduation Date

5-2014

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Department or Program Chair

Chase Clow, Ph.D.

First Reader

Gay Lynch, Ph.D.

Abstract

Religions and their prayer practices are an integral part of the history of our world and are an important source of community and individual spiritual development. Religions serve as a community resource for compassion and empathy toward others, an organizing force for community wellness and solidarity, and a safe haven to explore one’s own spiritual journey and purpose in life. There are emotional, moral, logical, and spiritual aspects to all religious traditions and when we have an understanding of not only that which we believe and practice, but also an understanding of that which others believe and practice, we can begin to see a pattern in what we have in common – at home and across the globe. As noted by Diana Eck, in her “Harvard Thinks Big: Religion in the Age of Pluralism” 2012 address, “Religious literacy is critical, not just for those of us who make a business of it, and not just for those of us who think of ourselves as spiritual or religious, but for all of us, no matter what you intend to do in life or where you intend to live.”

By increasing religious literacy, my project addresses the need for people of many (or no) faiths to come together and create what we might call a multi-faith public square. Two ways of accomplishing this is through scholarly investigation and through sharing insights as a result of religious practices. Whichever means are used, the most important things we can learn from people of other religions is about people of other religions, in order to develop enriching relationships with them as neighbors and citizens.

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This project will combine scholarly research and the sharing of voices and insights through the vehicle of an audio podcast titled “For Praying Out Loud, An Exploration of Religious Traditions & Their Prayer Practices.” The prayer practice portion of the podcast has the additional potential to provide an opportunity for an interactive glimpse into the variety of ways to access spiritual energy, which may be used and applied in anyone’s daily living practices.

Podcast - For Praying Out Loud.mp3 (58474 kB)
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