Keynote speaker #2: Prof. Kevin Ladd

KevinLadd

Indiana University South Bend

Prayer Vision

Visually oriented language is a part of many prayers: “Prayer helps me see God’s plan more clearly.” In this presentation, we explore links between how people engage spirituality via prayer and how they literally see the world around them. We hypothesized, for instance, that people with prayers focused on personal concerns would photograph “close-ups” or self-referential material; those who prayed mostly for others would return photos containing substantial numbers of people and other-referential material. As part of a larger investigation of prayer, participants (N = 120) each were given a digital camera for 1 week. They were asked to photograph sights they deemed “spiritually or prayerfully important.” Upon completion, participants verbally described each picture. Photos (approximately 2300) were hand coded by two independent researchers. Results support our expectations and suggest novel ways to use visual stimuli to address conflict resolution in spiritual settings by having people “see through the other person’s spectacles.”

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