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Praying the New Cosmology


There is for some a tension, even a conflict, between religion and science. This tension can be felt most acutely when it comes to prayer. The way we pray and the language we use often clash with what we know about the universe through the new cosmologies.
There is a cultural conflict for many, even a cognitive dissonance at times, between prayer and cosmology. Our prayers seem to operate out of an understanding of the universe that is very different to the understanding of the universe disclosed by modern science. The question I want to examine in this paper can be framed in the following way: Is it possible to integrate our prayer-life with the new cosmology. How might the new cosmologies help our prayer life? Is the gap between religion and science too big to bridge when we pray? Another way of articulating the question is to note that many of us have grown up in a 3 storied universe, a universe made up of the heavens above, the underworld below, and life lived on a flat earth. It is within that old cosmology, that is the three-storied universe, that many of our prayers are framed.