Commencing autumn 2020, research student Henna Cundill will undertake a project to gather insight into the way autistic people describe their experience of prayer. The project will seek to determine the extent to which autistic Christians find the prayer life of the Church to be accessible and inclusive. It will ask whether prayer, or prayer-like practice such as mindfulness, has unrealised potential as a therapeutic strategy for autistic people with anxiety disorders. The project will also seek to determine how much existing theologies of prayer within the Church resonate with the experience of autistic people. Do the insights of autistic people call for a re-imagined, inclusive theology of prayer?
This research will be supervised by Dr Léon Van Ommen at the university of Aberdeen and Dr David Simmons at the University of Glasgow, and will involve collaboration with key partner organisations, such as ‘The Astonishing Community’ and The Cross Party Group for Autism at the Scottish Parliament. The research is funded by the AHRC through the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities.
In the short video below Henna introduces her project.