A Guggenheim Fellowship may just be the next-best thing to a MacArthur “Genius” Award, so we send our congratulations to the two Johns Hopkins professors who can now consider themselves Guggenheim Fellows.
This research addresses a series of questions in order to understand the experience of praying—what is a ritual like when it is performed alone? I address the question of repetition: does the fact that these verses are repeated everyday make the prayers “rote” and meaningless? Where does our understanding of “learning by heart” stand at the moment? While we might have the impression that the ritual prayers stay the same across time, my research shows that praying at 70 is a very different experience from praying at 18.
Lawrence Principe teaches in the university’s History of Science and Technology. He’s in the process of researching and writing a book about 18th century transformations in the field of chemistry.