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Overview

Dr Adam Powell

COFUND Junior Research Fellow

BA Psychology, Certificate of Theological Studies, MA Religion, PhD Study of Religion


Affiliations
AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
COFUND Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religion121, Caedmon Building, St Hild & St Bede College 

Biography

Bio

I am a scholar of religion interested in how the social and cognitive sciences can illuminate the processes by which religion/spirituality is involved in identity formation and wellbeing. This has meant that much of my work blends disciplinary approaches from sociology, psychology, and the history of religions to investigate individual and group responses to conflict, trauma, and extraordinary perceptual experiences. 

I have supervised postgraduate research on topics ranging from the 'lived religion' of the Graeco-Roman world to the identity-conserving strategies of Native American spiritualists in the 20th century. 

I have particular expertise in 19th-century religious movements, such as Mormonism and Spiritualism, as well as the life and works of sociologist Hans Mol and the study of religious/spiritual experiences. Since 2018 my work has come to focus on spiritual experiences in relation to mental health. This research has been published widely, receiving features in Forbes, Slate, Ano Cero, and BBC Science Focus as well as coverage by news outlets in over 30 different countries.

Related Links

Publications

Authored book

  • Powell, Adam J. (2017). Hans Mol and the Sociology of Religion. Routledge.
  • Powell, Adam J. (2015). Irenaeus, Joseph Smith, and God-Making Heresy. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Davies, Douglas J. & Powell, Adam J. (2015). Sacred Selves, Sacred Settings: Reflecting Hans Mol. Routledge.

Journal Article