Skip to main content

Dr Adam Powell

Lecturer in Medical Humanities

Lecturer in Medical Humanities in the Department of Theology and Religion+44 (0) 191 33 41655
Lecturer in Medical Humanities in the Institute for Medical Humanities



I am a scholar of medical humanities and religion interested in how the social and cognitive sciences can illuminate the processes by which religion/spirituality is involved in identity formation and wellbeing. This has meant that much of my work blends disciplinary approaches from sociology, psychology, and the history of religions to investigate individual and group responses to conflict, trauma, and extraordinary perceptual experiences. 

I have supervised postgraduate research on topics ranging from the 'lived religion' of the Graeco-Roman world to the identity-conserving strategies of Native American spiritualists in the 20th century. 

I have particular expertise in 19th-century religious movements, such as Mormonism and Spiritualism, as well as the life and works of sociologist Hans Mol and the study of religious/spiritual experiences. Since 2018 my work has come to focus on spiritual experiences in relation to mental health. This research has been published widely, receiving features in Forbes, Slate, Ano Cero, and BBC Science Focus as well as coverage by news outlets in over 30 different countries.


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Supervision students