New Directions in Prayer is a three-part series of one-hour radio episodes produced by the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life for its media project "Rethinking Religion." "Trauma and Prayer" is the first episode in this new series.
New Directions in Prayer is unique for engaging both practitioners and scholars of religion to create a dialogue necessary for an informed public discussion on the role of prayer in people's lives. Bringing interviews with scholars, professionals, and clergy members together with archival audio, the series is unique in its diverse approach to understanding what prayer is and the roles it plays.
Thiese programs were made possible through a grant from the Social Science Research Council, with support of the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect the views of the Social Science Research Council or the John Templeton Foundation.
"Trauma and Prayer," the first episode in the series, explores the role prayer plays in the lives of people who have experienced abuse or extreme trauma. With Dr. Norris J. Chumley as Series Host and Executive Producer and Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, author of Trauma and Grace, as featured commentator, the episode focuses not only on distinct forms of prayer, but also on the varied areas in which prayer is used to mitigate the impact of abuse and/or trauma.
"The Jesus Prayer: An Ancient Christian Prayer in the Context of Community," the second episode in the series, utilizes a vast collection of existing ethnographic field studies recorded at the world's oldest active monasteries and hermitages in Egypt, Mt. Sinai, Mt. Athos, Greece, Romania, and Russia to bring the virtually unknown Jesus Prayer and the ancient practice of hesychia (silence and stillness) to American audiences.
"Islamic Prayer: Body, Community, and Spirit," the final episode in the series, will investigate the role prayer plays in the lives of Muslims, as individuals and as a community from phenomenological, historical, and theological perspectives.