2017-2018 Research Theme: Suffering & the Good Life (sponsored by the Templeton Religion Trust)
How can we flourish in the midst of suffering?
Suffering seems to be an inextricable part of human life. Can we seek and find the good life even in the midst of grave circumstances of suffering and pain?
Can psychology help us understand the nature and healing of suffering?
What psychological models and perspectives can shed light on the human condition and the suffering we endure? How can therapeutic approaches and clinical psychology integrate with spiritual theology to deliver healing and growth from trauma, pain, and suffering?
What is the role of grief, mourning, and lament in human flourishing?
What role do the psychological and spiritual dispositions of grief, mourning, lament, sadness, depression, and dark nights of the soul play in the search for meaning and purpose in human life?
What spiritual practices and psychological interventions for healing are available to those that suffer?
What practical interventions and therapies from the Christian spiritual tradition and contemporary psychology are effective in helping to heal from and grow through suffering?
Is there a distinctly Christian approach to the experience of suffering and its connection to happiness?
The Christian scriptures and tradition are rich in their exploration of the meaning, experience, and healing of suffering. Are these perspectives unique? And if so, how might they contribute to our understanding of evil, pain, and human suffering? Further, how might churches and other voluntary associations help their members harness suffering for good in their lives?
How can literature, poetry, and the arts give us perspective on suffering?
Where rational and intellectual treatments of suffering find their limits, the world of art, literature, and poetry often provide profound perspectives and healing expressions of suffering. How might a deeper exploration of suffering in artistic and aesthetic contexts shed light on the human experience of suffering, pain, loss, and negative life experiences?