Friday, 15th February 2019Seminar Thursday 28 February 2019:
“Living Deeply”: A Pastoral Integration of Psychology and Spirituality

This seminar took place on Thursday 28 February 2019, 4.30-6pm in Seminar Room C
(D/TH107, Dept. of Theology & Religion, Abbey House, DH1 3RS, Durham).

Dr Fraser Watts, Visiting Professor of Psychology and Religion, University of Lincoln

To watch the Lecture, please click on the video below:


My recent book, Living Deeply: A Psychological and Spiritual Journey, has raised important issues for me about how to integrate wisdom about practical living that comes from psychology and from spiritual traditions. My basic assumption is that, though things are presented rather differently, there is a good deal of underlying convergence between the two. I will illustrate that by drawing attention to similarities between Augustine Baker’s Holy Wisdom (written in the 17th century) with modern cognitive-behaviour therapy. Living Deeply aims to provide a psychologically-grounded introduction to the Christian faith. The direction of travel in my book is deliberately from the human and psychological to the religious and spiritual. The book also moves from personal issues to relational ones, and finally deals more explicitly with religious ideas, including beliefs about God. Overall, it tries to make connections between personal growth, pastoral care, spiritual practice and religious belief, showing how richly inter-connected these are, and making the relevance of religion to everyday life more clearly apparent. The book tries to articulate the self-spirituality that seems to be the predominant one of late modernity, one that can be found in Christian settings (especially in Charismatic evangelical churches), secular settings and more general spiritual settings such as Twelve Steps programmes.


Fraser Watts was formerly Reader in Theology and Science in the University of Cambridge, where he was Director of the Psychology and Religion Research Group and a Fellow of Queens’ College. He is also a former President of the British Psychological Society and of the International Society for Science and Religion. He is now Executive Secretary of the International Society for Science and Religion and a Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln. His books include Theology and Psychology (Ashgate, 2002); Psychology for Christian Ministry (with Rebecca Nye and Sara Savage, Routledge, 2002); Forgiveness in Context (ed. with Liz Gulliford, T & T Clark, 2004); Jesus and Psychology (DLT, 2007); Spiritual Healing: Scientific and Religious Perspectives (CUP, 2011); Head and Heart: Perspectives from Religion and Psychology (ed. with G. Dumbreck, Templeton Press, 2013;) Evolution, Religion and Cognitive Science: Critical and Constructive Essays (edited with L Turner, OUP, 2014); Psychology, Religion and Spirituality (CUP, 2017; and Living Deeply (Lutterworth, 2018).