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Reviewing the growing body of scientific research on prayer, this book describes what is known about the behavioral, cognitive, emotional, developmental, and health aspects of this important religious activity. The highly regarded authors provide a balanced perspective on what prayer means to the individual, how and when it is practiced, and the impact it has in people's lives. Clinically relevant topics include connections among prayer, coping, and adjustment, as well as controversial questions of whether prayer (for oneself or another) can be beneficial to health. The strengths and limitations of available empirical studies are critically evaluated, and promising future research directions are identified
Bernard Spilka, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Denver. He is a past president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Division 36 of the American Psychological Association, and a recipient of its William James Award, Mentoring Award, and Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Spilka has also been vice-president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and president of the Colorado Psychological Association and the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association. Now retired, he continues to write on the psychology of prayer and on religion, evolution, and genetics. Kevin L. Ladd, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychology at Indiana University South Bend and a former pastor of United Methodist and Presbyterian (PCUSA) congregations. A consulting editor for the Journal of Social Psychology, Archive for the Psychology of Religion, and Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Dr. Ladd serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion. His research on the psychology of prayer has involved collaborations, publications, and lectures in many countries and regions.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to the Scientific Study of Prayer 2. Prayer in Psychological Perspective 3. The Many Faces of Prayer: Multidimensionality 4. The Individual's Development of Prayer 5. Prayer in Coping and Adjustment 6. Prayer and Health 7. Intercessory Prayer 8. Concluding Perspectives and Possibilities