“Over a long career, I have worked in three main areas: in clinical psychology, in science, psychology & religion (in which I remain active), and as an ordained minister in the Church of England.” – Fraser Watts
The Career of Fraser Watts
Fraser Watts is a psychologist by background, and in the first half of his career held various positions in psychology, as Lecturer in Clinical Psychology in the University of London, Principal Psychologist at King’s College Hospital, and Senior Scientist at the UK Medical Research Council’s Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge.
He was active in the British Psychological Society, and served as President.
His research in clinical psychology focused initially on behaviour therapy and psychiatric rehabilitation and, at the MRC, on cognitive aspects of emotional disorders, including cognitive processes in phobic anxiety, cognitive deficits in depression, and cognitive aspects of insomnia.
In 1995 he moved to be Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Science in the University of Cambridge, and later become Reader in Theology and Science. He was Director of the Psychology and Religion Research Group in the Faculty of Divinity, Chairman of the Faculty of Divinity, Director of the Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies, and a Fellow of Queens’ College.
He has also been President of the International Society for Science and Religion, of which he is now Executive Secretary. He founded and continues to be Director of the Cambridge Institute for Applied Psychology and Religion. He is a priest in the Church of England and, until retirement, was Vicar-Chaplain of St Edward’s Church in Cambridge. He is now Visiting Professor of Psychology and Religion at the University of Lincoln.
He has published extensively on the psychological study of religion (including the evolution of religion and dual-process cognition in religion); various topics on the interface of theology and psychology such as prayer, forgiveness and spiritual healing; and wider topics in theology and science, especially the interface between biology and theology. His latest book, Psychology, Religion and Spirituality: Concepts and Applications was published by Cambridge University Press early in 2017.