Christian faith typically involves both religious belief and religious commitment -- both topics which have been the object of study in the psychological sciences. How can the results or methodology of the psychological sciences assist theologians and philosophers of religion in their effort to understand Christian faith?
This project will attempt to answer that question by supporting intensive cross-training in the psychological sciences for a group of eight scholars who work in Christian theology (broadly construed). These eight scholars will constitute the St. Thomas Working Group on the Psychology and Theology of Faith. In addition to taking coursework and studying both primary and secondary literature in pertinent areas of the psychological sciences, they will attend a summer seminar in 2024 on the psychology of faith (at which top-tier social scientists will share relevant cutting-edge research), the mid-year conference of Division 36 of the American Psychological Association (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) in spring 2025, and a summer workshop in 2025, at which they will present and receive feedback on their own works in progress, guided by mentors from the psychological sciences.
By grant’s end, each member of the Working Group will have developed and begun a science-engaged theological research project relating to religious belief or religious commitment.