Alan G. Padgett (D.Phil., Oxford University; M.Div., Drew University) is Professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Previously, he served as Professor of Theology and the Philosophy of Science at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, Calif., (1992-2001). Padgett has been on the faculty of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., since July 2001. He currently serves as the chair of the history and theology division. Padgett is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. His most recent books include Christianity and Western Thought, Vol. 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century (with Steve Wilkens; 2009); and But Is It All True? The Bible and the Question of Truth (co-edited with Patrick Keifert; 2006).
An investigation of the history and development of “cognitive science” (CS) including recent work on the cognitive science of religion (CSR), which would then be part of a long-term, interdisciplinary project on prayer which integrates theology, spirituality and science. Argues that the history and philosophy of CS has given this tradition of inquiry greater breadth and flexibility, yet at the same time “religion” in CSR tends to be individualistic. Its analysis of prayer need not be religious prayer, but could be (e.g.) mindful meditation. Yet CSR and neurobiology both have important contributions to make a whole-body analysis of what happens when we pray, contributing important insights to add to Christian sources of spiritual practice, wisdom and theology. A holistic approach to spiritual formation should yield positive results for both specialists and anyone interested in developing or understanding the life of prayer.