Fraser Watts, Research Director of the Institute, is currently Visiting Professor of Psychology and Religion at the University of Lincoln, and Executive Secretary of the International Society for Science and Religion. His recent books include:
Watts, F. (2017) Psychology, Religion and Spirituality: Concepts and Applications, Cambridge University Press
Watts, F. (2018) Living Deeply: A Spiritual and Psychological Journey, Lutterworth Press
Watts, F. (2021) A Plea for Embodied Spirituality: The Role of the Body in Religion, SCM Press.
In March 2011 CIAPR received a generous donation from the Epiphany Philosophers when they wound up their Trust. The intention was that these funds should be used to carry the Epiphany Philosophers’ baton into the future, with particular attention to the kind of work that the Epiphany Philosophers had carried out, as reflected in their journal, Theoria to Theory. CIAPR has supported the construction of a website for the Epiphany Philosophers, and annnual meetings of the Epiphany Philosophers. See http://epiphanyphilosophers.org; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_Philosophers
Fraser has published two papers arising from meetings of the Epiphany Philosophers:
‘Towards a bolder engagement between theology and science: Learning from the Epiphany Philosophers’, in: N. Spurway and L. Hickman (ed.) Forty Years of Science and Religion: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016.
‘Mutual Enhancement between Science and Religion: In the Footsteps of the Epiphany Philosophers’, Zygon, 54(4), 965-83, 2019.
Mutual Enrichment between Psychology and Theology
Russell Re Manning has edited the book Mutual Enrichment between Psychology and Theology (Routledge, 2020), with chapters by various colleagues of Fraser Watts in CIAPR and elsewhere, who have been influenced by his approach to the relationship between psychology and religion. Contributors associated with CIAPR include Léon Turner, Alastair Lockhart, Ryan Williams, Roger Bretherton, Eolene Boyd-MacMillan, José Liht, Bruce Kinsey, Mark Argent, Galen Watts and Sara Savage.
Other Projects and Collaborations
Fraser continues to publish on psychological aspects of pastoral care, including, most recently:
‘Psychology of Ministry’, in: M. Percy, I. S. Markham, E. Percy and F. Po (eds.) The Study of Ministry: A Comprehensive Survey of Theory and Best Practice, SPCK, 2019.
‘Psychological and Religious Perspectives on Mental Health’, in S. Aris, H, Gilbert, et al., (eds.) Spirituality, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Pavilion (in press)
Fraser has collaborated with Professor Simon Dein in conducting a small empirical study of people’s experience of virtual church services, from which a paper has been submitted for publication.
Fraser is currently collaborating with Bruce Kinsey in preparing a paper on the relationship between submissive sexuality and religion.
Fraser has also been involved in various projects on behalf of the International Society for Science and Religion, including a project currently underway on Understanding Spiritual Intelligence, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation (see:https://www.issr.org.uk/projects/understanding-spiritual-intelligence/)
Being Muslim Being British
We received a grant from the Home Office for the further development of the Being Muslim Being British (BMBB) educational initiative, originally sponsored by the Home Office and the EC, and researched and produced by the Psychology & Religion Research Group (PRRG) at the University of Cambridge. This included an 8-session DVD, uniquely drawing upon psychological research relevant to violent radicalisation. This further work involved the recruitment and training of facilitators to lead BMBB pilot courses for the pre and post testing of the effectiveness of BMBB in raising the levels of integrative complexity in young Muslim participants. These pilots served the dual purpose of introducing the course to young Muslim groups around the country and training facilitators at the same time. Work on BMBB has been the springboard for a wide range of educational programmes combatting extremism. Sara Savage was the lead researcher in this area, and Ryan Williams was also involved. For subsequent work arising from this project, see: http://icthinking.org
Faith Development in a Persecution Context
We received a grant from Open Doors International to fund a pilot research project into faith development in the context of persecution, on which Eolene Boyd-Macmillan was the lead researcher.
The Panacea Society
CIAPR supported completion of a project on the Panacea Society by Alastair Lockhart and Fraser Watts. Alastair has published a monograph on the healing work of the Panacea Society, Personal Religion and Spiritual Healing: The Panacea Society in the Twentieth Century (SUNY Press). Fraser has published two papers about the Panacea Society with Ryan Williams on attributions among correspondents with the Panacea Society:
‘Attributions in a Spiritual Healing Context: An Archival Analysis of a 1920s Healing Movement’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 53(1), pp. 90-108, 2014.
‘Health Help-Seeking Behaviour in Spiritual Healing Practice: Records from the Panacea Society’s Healing Department, 1924-1997’, Journal of Religion and Health’, June 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-020-01044-1
Psychology, Religion and Place
Fraser’s collaboration with Victor Counted resulted in the publication of their co-edited book, The Psychology of Religion and Place (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and in two journal articles:
‘Place Attachment in the Bible: The Role of Attachment to Sacred Places in Religious Life’, Journal of Psychology and Theology, 45, 218-232, 2017.
‘A Space of Transition and Transaction: A Rejoinder to Selected Commentaries on Place Spirituality”. Archive for the Psychology of Religion. 41(1), 43–52, 2019.
Religion and Embodiment
CIAPR supported the completion of a project on religion and embodiment on which Fraser worked with Léon Turner in the University of Cambridge, resulting in publication of: F. Watts, A Plea for Embodied Spirituality: The Role of the Body in Religion, SCM Press, 2021.