Prayers of intercession cover a wide range of topics, yet prayers for mental health or issues around LGBTQ or divorce prove to be taboo and stigmatised. This article interprets this finding from empirical research with the theories of taboo as outlined by Alasdair MacIntyre’s and by Mary Douglas. Next a relational, theological framework for intercession is proposed. The article offers pastoral-theological reflections on the problem of taboo and stigma – caused by doctrine or cultural norms – in intercession. The article argues that the practices of solidarity, naming, and hospitality reframe the way taboo and stigma can be thought about theologically and therefore eventually might influence intercession in public worship.
- Mary Douglas
- Alasdair MacIntyre