Greg Peters (Ph.D., St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto) is Associate Professor in the Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University. Dr. Peters is a native Virginian who loves to travel (especially in Europe) and read. When not reading for work, Dr. Peters reads for fun. He enjoys the fiction of Paul Auster, Bernard Malamud, Chinua Achebe and the nineteenth century Russian novelists. In addition, Dr. Peters loves the poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. When it comes to non-fiction, he enjoys reading anything that has to do with theology, monasticism or the history of the Christian church. When not working or reading Dr. Peters enjoys spending time with his wife Christina and two sons: Brendan and Nathanael. In addition to being a professor at Torrey, Dr. Peters is an ordained pastor in the Anglican tradition, serving regularly in his local parish.
With a fellowship at the CCT I propose to study the interaction of the disciplines of psychology and monastic studies. According to the Fellowship Description one of the questions to be pursued is, “What activities seem best suited to cultivate spiritual formation?” I would like to explore this question, in particular, with relation to monasticism. How are human’s psychologically hardwired for spiritual formation and how does the institution of monasticism complement or challenge this reality? To answer this question I will spend time researching and doing a literature review in the area of psychology and spiritual formation. I will then apply what I learn to the institution of monasticism to assess the compatibility of monasticism with a psychology of formation. Finally, I will conduct a case study, using a monastic figure from the church’s history, to see how (s)he relates to or challenges my own conclusions and insights.