My primary expertise concerns the development and sustaining of belief systems, with an emphasis on religious and spiritual content. In that capacity I have served as sole PI on external grants the role of embodiment / physical facets of beliefs including posture, motion, and vision; eye tracking investigations of visual attention; the role of food in religious experiences; separate, multi-year field-building efforts in the US and in Brazil; collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science to measure afterlife beliefs; coordinating 36 authors for a Cambridge International Handbook on the Psychology of religion.
I have served as President of Division 36 of the American Psychological Association, a member of the Board of Directors for the International Association for the Psychology of Religion, and Editor of the psychology of religion's oldest journal, "The Archive for the Psychology of Religion. I have held Visiting Researcher and Teacher positions at Renmin University (Beijing), Pontifical University (Curitiba, Brazil), Sao Paulo University (Brazil), and Cambridge University (UK).
In addition to my primary emphasis on the psychology of prayer, my current collaborations include work on affective influences of bodily postures, the experience of recovery from opioid addiction, as well as the theory and practice of magic as a performance art form.
Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Lausanne, Switzerland