In this course we will read together prayers that Christians and Christian communities have composed and interpreted these 2000 years - from the Psalms and the New Testament, the Didache and early Christian texts, to spoken word and the prayers produced by Black Lives Matter. We will see how the relations between the law of prayer, law of belief and law of life (the lex orandi, lex credendi and lex vivendi) have been shaped by Christians all along, and how social location has been reflected and contested in and through prayer. We will learn patterns of prayers and how prayer continues to be a spiritual, bodily, affective, and social "event." If prayer is the grammar of our faith, in this course we will seek to expand our vocabulary and our language. We plan to visit several Christian communities in Chicago and participate in their prayer practices as well.
Instructors: Ken Sawyer and Nannette Banks