Participants

Thrive Chair for Applied Developmental Science and professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Justin L. Barrett directs the new Thrive Center, which is concerned with positive youth development. His work is focused on cognitive approaches to the study of religion. Dr. Barrett was educated at Calvin College and earned a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Cornell University in 1997. He then returned to Calvin as an assistant professor of psychology for three years. Subsequently he served as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Michigan and as a consultant for the University of California, Davis. He was international coordinator of experimental research programs at the Institute of Cognition and Culture at The Queens' University in Belfast when, in 2006, he accepted an appointment as a senior researcher at Oxford University's Centre of Anthropology and Mind (CAM), where he directed a research program funded by the John Templeton Foundation (JTF). He helped establish and lectured at Oxford's Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, and, in 2007, was named acting director of CAM and also became a research associate of the Ian Ramsey Centre. Two years later, he was appointed a supernumerary research fellow of Regent's Park Collge, Oxford. Dr. Barrett took up his position at Fuller this past summer. In addition to grants from the JTF and the Templeton World Charity Foundation, his research also has been funded by the British Academy and the John Fell Fund. Last year, he received the William Bier Award of the American Psychological Association. A member of the JTF board of advisors, he is a founding editor of the Journal of Cognition and Culture, a consulting editor of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, and a founding member of the editorial board of Religion, Brain, and Behavior. He is the author of some sixty papers published in academic journals and volumes of collected works and the editor of the four-volume Psychology of Religion published last year by Routledge. His other books include, Why Would Anyone Believe in God? (2004), a scientific account of the prevalence of religious beliefs, Cognitive Science, Religion, and Theology, an acessible overview of an interdisciplinary field involving the study of minds and mental activity in which the author discusses key findings and their implications for religious thought and practice, which was published this month by the Templeton Press, and Born Believers: The Science of Childhood Religion, a study of children's natural receptivity to religious thought, forthcoming from The Free Press.