CTI Welcomes Research Team on Religious Experience & Moral Identity

by Robin Lovin

The Center’s resident members for 2013-14 arrived on Labor Day weekend to begin their work together. Over the course of the year, thirteen scholars from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Romania, and Germany will pursue their research and writing projects in Luce Hall and live in the Vella Handly Templeton Residences in Princeton. While each researcher has an individual approach to the questions of religious experience and moral identity, the team was selected for their interdisciplinary interests and their experience with collaborative projects. The weekly colloquium and other informal gatherings allow them to share their own work in progress and talk together about the latest developments in their fields.

This interdisciplinary approach is particularly important to the Inquiry on Religious Experience and Moral Identity. The long tradition of theological reflection on religious experience intersects with new work in neuroscience that maps brain activity associated with specific kinds of thinking and problem solving, and both science and theology draw on anthropological and sociological studies that follow religious activity in a variety of cultural settings. Possibilities develop quickly for each line of investigation to refine its questions in light of the others and produce a more complete picture of the ways that religion and morality interact in human life.

You can follow the Inquiry on Religious Experience and Moral Identity through the coming year by checking the Homepage Research section and News page on our website. Come back soon for interviews with senior research fellows Stephen Pope and Robert Roberts, a theologian and a philosopher who will share their thoughts on how dialogue is changing the disciplines that study religion and the moral life.

Robin Lovin
Director of Research