Dr Adam Powell
Lecturer in Medical Humanities
BA Psychology, Certificate of Theological Studies, MA Religion, PhD Study of Religion
|Lecturer in Medical Humanities in the Department of Theology and Religion||121, Caedmon Building, St Hild & St Bede College|
|Lecturer in Medical Humanities in the Institute for Medical Humanities|
I am a scholar of medical humanities and 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.
- 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
- Powell, Adam J. (2022). Pollution and Purity: Understanding Voices as Punishment for Un-Wholly Sins. In Voices in Psychosis: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Woods, Angela, Alderson-Day, Ben & Fernyhough, Charles Oxford: Oxford University Press. 82-90.
- Clarke, Isabel & Powell, Adam J. (2021). Voices, Visions and the Spiritual Journey. In Mental Health, Spirituality and Well-being: A Handbook for Health and Social Care Professionals, Service Users and Carers. Aris, Sarajane, Garraway, Hilary & Gilbert, Hannah Pavilion.
- Powell, Adam J. (2019). ‘A Simple and Warm Common Humanity’ Self-Transcendence and Restless Resilience in Jürgen Moltmann’s Theology. In Biblical and Theological Visions of Resilience. Cook, Chris & White, Nathan London: Routledge.
- Davies, Douglas J. & Powell, Adam J. (2015). Sacred Selves, Sacred Settings: Reflecting Hans Mol. Routledge.
- Alderson-Day, Ben, Corlett, Philip, Deeley, Quinton, Dupois, David, Lifshitz, Michael, Moseley, Peter, Peters, Emmanuelle, Powell, Adam & Powers III, Albert (Published). Learning to discern the voices of gods, spirits, tulpas and the dead. Schizophrenia Bulletin 49(Supplement_1): S3–S12.
- Moseley, Peter, Powell, Adam, Woods, Angela, Fernyhough, Charles & Alderson-Day, Ben (2022). Voice-hearing across the continuum: a phenomenology of spiritual voices. Schizophrenia Bulletin 48(5): 1066–1074.
- Cook, Christopher C.H., Powell, Adam, Alderson-Day, Ben & Woods, Angela (2022). Hearing spiritually significant voices: A phenomenological survey and taxonomy. BMJ Medical Humanities 48(3): 273-284.
- Powell, Adam J. & Cook, Christopher C. H. (2021). By-Products or By Design? Considering Hearing Voices and Other Matters of the Mind. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion 7(1): 73-84.
- Moseley, Peter & Powell, Adam (2021). Jingle-jangle? Spiritual voices, absorption, and proneness to hallucinations in Tanya Luhrmann’s ‘How God Becomes Real’. Religion, Brain, and Behavior
- Powell, Adam & Cook, Christopher C.H. (2020). The etheric place: Notes on finding the supernatural at the boundaries of sleep. Journal for the Study of Religious Experience 6(1): 45-51.
- Powell, Adam & Moseley, Peter (2020). When spirits speak: Absorption, attribution, and identity among spiritualists who report ‘clairaudient’ voice experiences. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture 23(10): 841-856.
- Powell, Adam J. (2018). Mind and spirit: hypnagogia and religious experience. The Lancet Psychiatry 5(6): 473-475.
- Powell, Adam J. (2017). The Hearing Voices Movement as Postmodern Religion-Making: Meaning, Power, Sacralisation, Identity. Implicit Religion 20(2): 105-126.
- Powell, Adam J. (2017). Functionalism or Fallacy: Re-locating Hans Mol’s Identity Theory. Italian Sociological Review 7(1): 63-85.
- Powell, Adam J (2017). The Place of Identity Dissonance and Emotional Motivations in Bio-Cultural Models of Religious Experience: A Report from the 19th Century. Journal for the Study of Religious Experience 3(1): 91-105.
- Powell, Adam J. (2016). Covenant Cloaks: Mormon Temple Garments in the Light of Identity Theory. Material Religion 12(4): 457-475.
- Powell, Adam J. (2015). The Ideal: One Possibility for the Future of Religious Identity. Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies 6(1): 111-118.
- Powell, Adam J. (2013). Irenaeus and God's Gifts: Reciprocity in Against Heresies, Iv.14.1. Studia Patristica 65: 119-126.