Prayer is a phenomenon which seems to be characteristic not only of participants in every religion, but also men and women who do not identify with traditional religions. It can be practised even by those who do not believe either in a God or transcendent force. In this sense, therefore, we may assert that the prayer is a typically human activity that has accompanied the development of different civilizations over the course of the centuries. Both the material issues of concrete daily life as well as more symbolic elements expressed through words, gestures, body positions, and community celebration are brought together in the act of praying.
Giuseppe Giordan is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Padua, Italy. From 2009 he has served as General Secretary of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR/SISR). His books in English include Identity and Pluralism: The Values of the Post-Modern Time (2004) and the edited volume Vocation and Social Context (2007). Linda Woodhead MBE DD is Professor of Sociology of Religion at Lancaster University,UK. She studies religious change in modern societies, especially rapid change since the late 1980s. Between 2007 and 2013 was Director of the “Religion and Society” research programme in Britain, which involved 240 academics from 29 different disciplines. Her books include Everyday Lived Islam in Europe (2013), A Sociology of Religious Emotions (2011). Contributors include: Peter Althouse, Annalisa Butticci, Shun-hing Chan, Marie Cochrane, Sylvia Collins-Mayo, Oleg Dik, Franco Garelli, Jane Garnett, Alana Harris, Ashok Kumar M.,Wing-leung Law, Josiane Le Gall, Rebecca Lynch, Michael Mason, Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham, Roberta Ricucci, Rowena Robinson, Sebastian Schuler, Sonya Sharma, Helen Waterhouse, Michael Wilkinson, Patricia Wittberg
All those interested in the field of sociology of religion and religious studies, particularly academics and students of the sociology of religion interested in the sociology of prayer and spirituality.