Prayer in Schools: In Search of a New Paradigm

Julian Stern, Eli Kohn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Prayer and schools have an uncomfortable history together. Prayer is therefore a useful ‘test’ of various aspects of schooling. Empirical research on prayer in schools is used here to develop a new paradigm—a new way of understanding prayer in school, in terms of particular theories of spirituality, and a new way of understanding schooling, in terms of prayer and spirituality. The paradigm that we present reflects the views of young people studied in various recent research projects, and it also reflects well-established religious and philosophical positions. It proposes a model of ‘mundane’ spirituality inspired by the work of various Jewish and Christian scholars, notably Kook, Buber, Macmurray and Hay. This is exemplified by research on young people in Israel and the UK. Implications of this work for schools are described, noting the value of uncertainty and the as yet unknown, the plural, the open. The chapter does not reject education—or religion—as a search for ‘truth’: it recognises that truth is still emergent, and that there is room for the mysterious, the ineffable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining the Landscape of Religious Education
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Opportunities
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783031201332
ISBN (Print)9783031201325
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023.


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