Talking to and About God

Mitchell Silver

in A Plausible God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226818
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236565 | DOI:
Talking to and About God

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This chapter examines the expressive functions of using the word “God”. Saying “God” describes how one feels and how one wants to feel. It is also an act meant to spur certain other acts. The chapter examines the attitudes expressed based on gratitude, an all-encompassing unity, and the different forms of prayer. It notes that people give thanks to God only if the expression of gratitude requires that someone be thanked and that there is no human agency to thank for our fortune. The fundamental religious experience that the theologians wish most to express is the mystical sense that “all is one”. With this, prayer is the primary vehicle used to express and create fundamental religious experiences, whether of gratitude, vulnerability, abundance, or connectedness. The different forms of prayer discussed are petitional prayer, confessional prayer, reverential prayer and contemplative prayer.

Keywords: expressive functions; gratitude; unity; prayer; expression; petition; confession; reverence; contemplation

Chapter.  8376 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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