Much has been written about the Our Father (also referred to as the Lord’s Prayer) as it represents a personal and public dialogue with God in daily prayer and liturgy. While its theological and spiritual aspects have been thoroughly investigated, their cultural implications for different speech communities have been disregarded. This study aims to compare the English, Italian, and French versions of the Lord’s Prayer in the Catholic Church in an attempt to examine the role that culture is bound to play in shaping religious response and tracing a preferential interpretive pathway through a sacred text. This comparative analysis is focused on lexical choice and metaphorical imagery and integrated by an examination of the wider co-text, the Bible. The analysis has shown that the versions of the Lord’s Prayer present distinctive features possibly reflective of deeply-ingrained cultural attitudes such as the appeal for elevation in the English prayer, the dual tension between deference and solidarity in the Italian prayer, and the inclination for a grand narrative of heroes and anti-heroes in the French prayer. The study concludes that renewed attention to Christian sources could help bridge the gap between religion and culture, and reconcile our spiritual and social identities in post-secular societies.
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