Justin L. Barrett

Barrett

Justin L. Barrett is regarded as one of the founders of the cognitive science of religion field; a recent project in this area extended cognitive science of religion to China, for which he was awarded a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation (2011–2015). Barrett’s main focus at Fuller is to develop faith and science initiatives. In this short video—part of a collection from the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion naming Barrett as one of the world’s leading scientists in his area—he explores the question of whether the human mind is predisposed to religious thought, a theme at the center of the cognitive science of religion.

He joined the School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in 2011 as Thrive Professor of Developmental Science and served as director of the Thrive Center for Human Development from 2011 to 2014. He is currently the chief project developer for the Office for Science, Theology, and Religion Initiatives (STAR) and, as of January 2018, also serves as acting dean of the School of Psychology. An experimental psychologist, Dr. Barrett taught for five years in Oxford University’s School of Anthropology, and is best known for his research on religion.

While at Oxford, Professor Barrett helped establish and became the director of the Centre for Anthropology and Mind, and the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. Early in his academic career, Professor Barrett served as an assistant professor of psychology at Calvin College and was a research investigator and visiting professor at the Institute of Social Research and the Culture and Cognition Program at the University of Michigan.

He was the recipient of the William Bier Award in 2010 from the American Psychological Association and is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Religion, the Association for Psychological Science, and the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry. He is also the editor of a four-volume series, the Psychology of Religion (Routledge).