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iPrayer: Catholic Prayer Apps and Twenty-First-Century Catholic Subjectivities

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Abstract

In this chapter, Dugan investigates what happens when mobile technology mediates Catholic prayer. How does the experience of prayer shift when mediated through mobile technology? In what ways does the technology affect the formation of Catholic subjectivities? Drawing on ethnographic work among app developers and users, this chapter examines three Catholic prayer apps. These apps instruct Catholics in correct performance of prayer and attune Catholics to daily requirements of religious practice. Prayer apps contribute to twenty-first-century Catholic subjectivity by drawing Catholics into contested spaces between the laity and hierarchy, rote and spontaneous prayer, and between the sacred and profane. These apps participate in prayer-based Catholic discipline in—and for—the iPhone era.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to express my gratitude to the app developers and users who let me interview them—I appreciate your candor and openness. I want to acknowledge their willingness to share intricate app knowledge with me. I am also grateful to my writing group: Amanda Baugh, Justine Howe, and Michal Raucher. Your careful reads and insightful comments made this chapter smoother and more interesting. Any remaining errors are, of course, my own.

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Correspondence to Katherine Dugan .

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Dugan, K. (2019). iPrayer: Catholic Prayer Apps and Twenty-First-Century Catholic Subjectivities. In: Fewkes, J. (eds) Anthropological Perspectives on the Religious Uses of Mobile Apps. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26376-8_7

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