Reverberations is one year old!
Just over a year ago, the Social Science Research Council’s Program on Religion and the Public Sphere launched Reverberations— a place where participants in the SSRC’s New Directions in the Study of Prayer (NDSP) project could communicate and share their research and reflections on the practice of prayer, both with each other and with a wider public. Over the past year, the scholars and journalists taking part in the program, as well as an ever-increasing roster of other contributors, have begun to make good on the original promise of Reverberations as a hub for different kinds of thought on the practice of prayer and its many incarnations and implications. Some of our earliest posts asked what it means to study prayer as a practice and raised questions about prayer in public spaces, and the potential tension between secular state and believing citizen. More recent entries have explored the darker side of prayer; the place of prayer and piety in the life of Christian Dalits; and the intersection of prayer, praise, prophecy, and the political sphere in today’s Pentecostalism. And as Reverberations continues to grow into its second year, there is much to look forward to. In the coming days, Sarah Pike, whose reply to Bob Orsi’s portal shed light on “Prayer and Presence in Unexpected Places,” will examine the prayer practices of those who “sweat their prayers” through ecstatic dance. Over the course of the next few months, NDSP grantees and advisory council members will share insights from their ongoing projects in the form of documentary film work on Pentecostal practice in Mumbai; personal reflections on the place of prayer in the lives of those who self-identify as secular; resources for thinking about interfaith prayer spaces, and more. And Steven Barrie-Anthony’s “Prayer in Wider Perspective,” our ongoing interview series in which grantees discuss their NDSP work and related projects, will continue with conversations with Bob Orsi and Mark Aveyard.
Thank you to all who have written for us in the past year, and to all who have read—we look forward to another great year!