Researchers at the University of St Andrews have received a large funding grant of £365,000 for a new study which combines areas of theological and psychological the human imagination.
One of the lead projects, entitled 'Mapping the Imagination', will investigate the relationship between theological-philosophical and psychological accounts of the imagination and is led by Judith Wolfe, Professor of Philosophical Theology. It has been awarded £185,000 from the Art Seeking Understanding programme of the Templeton Religion Trust.
Another project, led by Brendan Wolfe — Principal Editor of the 'St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology', and Dhanraj Vishwanath, Lecturer in Psychology and Neuroscience — has received £180,000 in funding. The project, titled 'Text and Image', is will study text-inclusive visual artwork to develop and test accounts of art and religious communication.
Responding to news of the funding grant, Professor Judith Wolfe said: “These projects will allow theologians and psychologists to bring their insights and methods together to explore the power of art to make us see the world in new ways. Working together on questions that we both care about will also help us understand better how we can support and constructively challenge each other more widely.
“Art Seeking Understanding is a highly selective grant programme funding research into the arts as sources not only of aesthetic enjoyment but also of distinctive modes of understanding. The University of St Andrews is the only institution to secure more than one of the 12 initial grants from the programme."