This article distinguishes various ways in which the term 'pray together' might be understood and focuses on 'interreligious prayer', by which is meant here praying together using the same words with two religious groups united in heart and mind, rather than 'multireligious prayer', which refers to prayer in the presence of another religious group. The article argues that, in the early literature on the matter, there is a danger of conflating the two different types, and then shows that some Catholic communities, following the initiatives of Pope John Paul II, have reached a consensus that interreligious prayer is problematic, while multireligious prayer is not. The article goes on to consider an essay by Joseph Ratzinger, which discusses the preconditions for interreligious prayer and is very sceptical about its possibility, except perhaps for Christians and Jews. Finally, one of Ratzinger's preconditions for interreligious prayer is used to examine the possible grounds for interreligious prayer between Christians and Muslims, and the article argues that the door is as yet neither closed nor open.
- interfaith prayer
- interreligious prayer;multireligious prayer