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Faculty of Divinity

 

Alastair Lockhart carries out research in the field of contemporary and 20th century religion and belief, with a special interest in new and non-mainstream religion, the psychology of religion, and apocalypticism and millenarianism. He is Director of Studies for Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Hughes Hall.

Areas of Interest

Psychology of Religion
Contemporary/20th century religious history
Apocalypticism and millenarianism

Biography

Alastair is a Fellow of Hughes Hall, a college of the University, where he is Deputy Senior Tutor and Director of Studies for Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion, a College Teaching Associate at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Academic Director at the Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM) in Bedford.

He studied the BA Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge before completing an MSc in Computer Sciences and an MA in the Psychology of Religion, both at the University of London. His doctoral thesis, on 'Religion, Psychology and Metaphysics in Interwar Britain', was completed at Cambridge.

He has previously been a Research Associate and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Divinity Faculty. He sits on the Faculty's Religious Studies Subject Committee.

Research

Alastair carries out research in the field of contemporary and 20th century religion and belief, with a special interest in new and non-mainstream religion, the psychology of religion, and apocalypticism and millenarianism.

He has previously worked on the interactions between psychological theory-making and religion in Victorian and early-20th century Britain, with a focus on the adoption and adaptation of psychotherapeutic approaches in the interwar period. He continues to work on the historical interface of religion and psychology, and theoretical and conceptual aspects of the relationship of the domains in contemporary thought.

Alastair has worked extensively on the archives of the Panacea Society, a millenarian religious group that was formed in England after World War I and continued until 2012. A monograph based on the research, Personal Religion and Spiritual Healing, was published by State University of New York Press in 2019.

Current projects include critical and conceptual work on the evolutionary psychology of religion, and historical study of secular and theological responses to the atomic bombs of 1945.

Publications

Key publications: 

Monograph

Lockhart, Alastair (2019) Personal Religion and Spiritual Healing: The Panacea Society in the Twentieth Century. SUNY Press. Publisher’s website.

Edited work

Crossley, James and Alastair Lockhart (eds.) (2021) Critical Dictionary of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements. www.cdamm.org. Open access.

Articles and chapters

Lockhart, Alastair (2021) ‘Panacea Society’ in James Crossley and Alastair Lockhart (eds.) Critical Dictionary of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements. 15 January 2021. www.cdamm.org/articles/panacea-society.

Lockhart, Alastair (2021) ‘Centre for the Critical Study of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements (CenSAMM)’ in James Crossley and Alastair Lockhart (eds.) Critical Dictionary of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements. 21 January 2021. www.cdamm.org/articles/censamm.

Lockhart, Alastair (2020) ‘New Religious Movements and Quasi-religion: Cognitive Science of Religion at the Margins’ in Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspsychologie 42(1): 101-122. Open access.

Lockhart, Alastair (2020) ‘Demise and Persistence: Religion after the Loss of “Direct Divine Control” in the Panacea Society’ in Michael Stausberg, Stuart A. Wright and Carole M. Cusack (eds.) The Demise of Religion: How Religions End, Die, or Dissipate. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 83-96. Open access.

Williams, Ryan J., Fraser Watts, & Alastair Lockhart (2020) ‘Health Help-Seeking Behaviour in Spiritual Healing Practice: Records from the Panacea Society’s Healing Department, 1924–1997′ in Journal of Religion and Health (June 2020). doi.org/10.1007/s10943-020-01044-1

Lockhart, Alastair (2020) ‘Bishop William Temple and the Psychologists’ in Russell Re Manning (ed.) Mutual Enrichment between Psychology and Theology. Abingdon UK; New York NY: Routledge. pp. 35-46. Publisher’s website.

Lockhart, Alastair (2020) ‘Holy Places and Religious Language in New Religious Movements’ in New Blackfriars 101(1092): 163-181. doi.org/10.1111/nbfr.12543

Lockhart, Alastair (2019) ‘A Bud from the Tree of Life: William McDougall’s Response to Freud’ in History and Philosophy of Psychology 20(1): 28-33. Journal website.

Lockhart, Alastair (2017) ‘A Southcottian Healing Panacea, 1924-2012’ in J. Shaw and P. Lockley (eds.) The History of a Modern Millennial Movement: The Southcottians. London: I.B. Tauris. pp. 186-202. Publisher’s website.

Lockhart, Alastair (2017) Review of Bruce K. Alexander and Curtis P. Shelton A History of Psychology in Western Civilization in History and Philosophy of Psychology 18(1): 49-51. Journal website.

Lockhart, Alastair (2015) ‘Religious and Spiritual Mobility in Britain: The Panacea Society and Other Movements in the Twentieth Century’ in Contemporary British History 29(2): 155-178. Open access.

Lockhart, Alastair (2013) ‘Heterodox Healing and Alternative Religion in the 20th Century: An English Spiritual Healing Practice in Finland’ in Suomen kirkkohistoriallisen seuran vuosikirja 2013. Helsinki: Suomen Kirkkohistoriallinen Seura/Societas Historiae Ecclesiasticae Fennica. pp. 74-97. Journal website.

Lockhart, Alastair (2012) ‘The “Para-Freudians”: A Project for a Spiritualized Psychoanalysis in Early Twentieth Century Britain’ in D. Henderson (ed.) Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 2-19. Publisher’s website.

Lockhart, Alastair (2010) ‘”The “Parson’s Clinic”: Religion and Psychology at the Interwar Tavistock Clinic’ in History and Philosophy of Psychology 12(2): 11-23. Journal website.

Teaching and Supervisions

Teaching: 

Supervisor for A6 Understanding Contemporary Religion

Supervisor for D2b Apocalypse

 

Other Professional Activities

Director of Studies, Hughes Hall
Deputy Senior Tutor, Hughes Hall
Director of Studies, Wolfson College
Alastair Lockhart portrait image
Not available for consultancy

Affiliations

Moodle

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