Dr. Daniel Falk and Dr. Jennifer Singletary have been awarded a grant from the Database of Religious History (DRH), a large-scale quantitative-qualitative database for the cultural evolution of religions, hosted by the University of British Columbia. The award will fund a research project, titled “Prayer as Interaction: A Quantitative Study,” which aims to answer questions about the correlation between various features of prayers and conceptions of superhuman agents. Do certain types of prayer entail conceptions of superhuman entities that can communicate with humans and affect human life? Do sacrifices or offerings accompanying prayer correlate with beliefs about the ability of superhuman entities to reward human beings reciprocally?
One of three projects to be awarded funding by the DRH, Dr. Falk and Dr. Singletary’s project will examine common scholarly generalizations about prayer by integrating a selection of data from the Prayer in the Ancient World project, a resource on prayer across the ancient Mediterranean world edited by Dr. Falk and Dr. Rodney Werline (Barton College), into the DRH and conducting statistical analyses.