Description: What would a comparative study of prayer look like? If the human impulse is to survive by thinking and acting religiously, Reinhart says religion is born on the day prayer first finds breath. He discusses prayer as a discourse since that first day that is speech out of brokenness or suffering is expressed in the hope of something more. Through his engagement with theorists of language and memory (Habermas, Derrida, Metz, Ricoeur, and others), Reinhart develops a framework that sustains an innovative approach to apocalyptical thought that also lays the foundation for a new field: the comparative study of prayer. Endorsements: ""Prayer as Memory blends theory and theology to explore how prayer--at once a religious performance and an enactment of moral imagination--is rooted in 'the loam of memory, ' a fertile ground that locates prayer within a collective, historically situated context. Theoretically astute and theologically insightful, this book will be of interest to readers who want to know more about the perduring effects of collective memory on everyday religious practice."" --Elizabeth Castelli, Professor of Religion, Barnard College ""Prayer as Memory is an astute and foundational essay in theologia prima. By bringing together the contrasting, contemporary philosophical scenarios and the theological insights of the likes of Barth and Metz, this book is an eloquent elucidation of prayer as an apocalyptic genre that offers a theoretical frame and practical guidance to understand and engage a devotional life. This book deserves praise for daring originality, interdisciplinary acumen, and pastoral relevance."" --Vitor Westhelle, Professor of Systematic Theology, Lutheran School of Theology ""Asserting that prayer is a form of discourse, Reinhart explores the multifaceted ethical dimensions and functions of prayers, as they relate to self-understanding, memory, awareness of others' suffering, apocalyptic sentiments, redemption, and reconciliation. Eloquently written, and drawing upon a wide range of important thinkers, including Jacques Derrida and Jurgen Habermas, this book is an illuminating and fascinating exposition of prayer as a practice with continuing relevance."" --Yuki Miyamoto, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, DePaul University ""In prayer we remember the woundedness of our communities while enacting the eschatological hope for how the world ought to be. Reinhart presents a nuanced argument for both the rationality and mystery of prayer, in which the experience of otherness overwhelms ideological fixation. This work brings a fresh perspective to the debate on prayer in the public sphere."" --Bjorn Krondorfer, Professor of Religious Studies, Martin-Springer Institute About the Contributor(s): David Reinhart is Lecturer in Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. He has lived in Chicago almost all of his life, previously teaching at DePaul University and Richard J. Daley City College."