Rebekah A. Richert is an Associate Professor of Psychology, and director of the Childhood Cognition Lab, at the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on the cultural and social-cognitive dimensions of children’s understandings of religion, fantasy, and media. Richert’s latest project, supported by the SSRC’s New Directions in the Study of Prayer initiative, examines how prayer practices and instruction shape children’s concepts of God and supernatural causality.
Steven Barrie-Anthony is a senior editor for Reverberations, an SSRC research associate for projects on religion & the public sphere, an editor at large for The Immanent Frame, and a doctoral student in Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was formerly a staff writer with the Los Angeles Times. He is conducting a series of interviews with scholars and journalists who are studying and reporting on prayer. He tweets at @barrieanthony.
Posts by Steven Barrie-Anthony
Tanya Marie Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and a Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her work explores how people come to experience nonmaterial objects such as God as present and real, and how different understandings of the mind affect mental experience. She is the author, most recently, of When God Talks Back (Knopf, 2012), which The New York Times Book Review called “the most insightful study of evangelical religion in many years,” and of other books including Of Two Minds (Knopf, 2000), The Good Parsi (Harvard, 1996), and Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft (Harvard, 1989). Her latest project, supported by the SSRC’s New Directions in the Study of Prayer initiative, builds on and extends her research for When God Talks Back, taking her to India and Africa. On a recent rainy afternoon in Palo Alto, I spoke with Luhrmann about her work and its new directions.
New Directions in the Study of Prayer grantee Tanya Luhrmann, in a recent essay for The Daily Beast, writes: “I know what it is like to hear God speak.” Luhrmann gleans this knowledge from years of anthropological study of evangelical Christians, during which she has observed their learning to hear the voice of God, to “pay attention to their inner world in a different way.”