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Prayer as Inner Sense Cultivation: An Attentional Learning Theory of Spiritual Experience

Luhrmann, Tanya Marie; Morgain, Rachel


How does prayer change the person who prays? In this article, we report on a randomized controlled trial developed to test an ethnographic hypothesis. Our results suggest that prayer which uses the imagination-the kind of prayer practiced in many U.S. evangelical congregations-cultivates the inner senses, and that this cultivation has consequences. Mental imagery grows sharper. Inner experience seems more significant to the person praying. Feelings and sensations grow more intense. The person...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2012
Type: Journal article
Source: Ethos: The Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology
DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1352.2012.01266.x
Access Rights: Open Access


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