Praying in a secularized society: An empirical study of praying practices and varieties
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Number of pages
SourceInternational Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18, 3, (2008), pp. 256-265
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
SW OZ NISCO MT
International Journal for the Psychology of Religion
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Inequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
Social scientific studies from the secular Netherlands has pointed out that religious rituals such as praying are still widely present. This study examines the content of the praying practices of the Dutch and distinguishes varieties of prayer by analyzing answers to open-ended questions of a representative Dutch survey (N = 1,008). It is concluded, first, that a majority of the Dutch prays. Second, four varieties of prayer are distinguished: petitionary, religious, meditative, and impulsive prayer. Comparing these varieties with types of prayer found in other empirical studies, it emerges that the petitionary and religious prayer are similar to classical prayers found in other studies from less secularized countries, whereas the meditative and impulsive prayers are fundamentally different from other prayer types and can be considered as examples of a praying practice in a secularized society.
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