An international symposium entitled “Prayer as Interaction” was held from September 5 to 7 in Marburg, Germany, as a joint project by Tenri University and the University of Marburg (Philipps-Universität Marburg).
The symposium was attended by 10 scholars from each university including Tenri University President Taketo Hashimoto, Dr. Martin Kraatz, and Prof. Michael Pye. Each participant read a paper on the subject of “prayer” from their area of expertise. Conducted entirely in English, the symposium generated lively discussions.
The symposium aimed to reexamine from the perspective of contemporary religious studies the idea of “prayer” set forth by Friedrich Heiler (University of Marburg) in his celebrated 1918 study, Prayer: A Study in the History and Psychology of Religion. According to Prof. Gerhard Marcel Martin (University of Marburg) and Prof. Yoshitsugu Sawai (Tenri University), who had both worked hard to prepare for the symposium and served as chairpersons, it is highly significant in terms of religious studies that the meaning and structure of prayer were closely and critically reexamined from the point of view of contemporary religious studies.