Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion
Edited by Giuseppe Giordan (University of Padua, Italy) and Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University, United Kingdom)
Prayer is a phenomenon which seems to be characteristic not only of participants in every religion, but also men and women who do not identify with traditional religions. It can be practised even by those who do not believe either in a God or transcendent force. In this sense, therefore, we may assert that the prayer is a typically human activity that has accompanied the development of different civilizations over the course of the centuries. Both the material issues of concrete daily life as well as more symbolic elements expressed through words, gestures, body positions, and community celebration are brought together in the act of praying.