Prayer and the Body in Lay Religious Experience in Early Modern Finland

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Toivo’s chapter systematizes prayer as experience on three levels, as everyday encounters, as social processes and as structures. It shows the material and the corporeal nature of the early modern prayer to play an essential part in the ways the religious experience of a prayer was simultaneously constructed and personalized and shared. Praying was ‘doing’ in a much more holistic sense than merely saying words or even less thinking thoughts to God. The body and the material surroundings of the prayer form a space where the experience takes place, even ‘a tool’ to experience with.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistories of Experience in the World of Lived Religion
EditorsSari Katajala-Peltomaa, Raisa Maria Toivo
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-92140-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-92139-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in the History of Experience
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Print)2524-8960
ISSN (Electronic)2524-8979


  • history of experience
  • seventeenth century
  • early modern
  • prayer
  • embodiment
  • space
  • Finland
  • Lutheranism
  • superstition
  • witchcraft

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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