I am thrilled to introduce many of you to a wonderful scholar and new friend. Pete and I met this past summer in SoCal at the TheoPsych seminar put on by my friends in the STAR office at Fuller Seminary. (STAR=Science, Theology and Religion). Whenever someone comes on the podcast from a more conservative part of the church I am always honored, because I get lots of rejection emails – even from people who listen! Any way, most of our conversation is about his work as a psychological scientist where he is respected apart from a particular religious identity. I hope you enjoy the conversation and if you run into Pete tell him thank you for joining.
Peter C. Hill, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University. Before coming to Rosemead in 2002, he served for 17 years as Professor of Psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. In 2006 he was honored with a faculty appointment at the University of Cambridge as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies of the Faculty of Divinity. Hill is an active researcher in social psychology and the psychology of religion where he has authored approximately 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.
In the conversation we discuss:
- Why the harder the science the greater % of scientists who believe in God?
- What are the psychological sciences? How is it an empirical science?
- The origin story of psychology and the current move towards positive psychology
- How do you define religion? The search for the sacred?
- Virtue and character formation
- What do psychologist think of theologians?
- Are humans naturally religious?
- How humans ‘think’ and make judgements
- What’s going on when we argue and act a fool about religion and politics?
- Where polarization comes from
- the nature of religious trauma and paths to healing
- religious identity in adolescence
- advice on passing on the beautiful elements of your faith
Pete’s Books & the one we discussed
Renowned for its natural beauty spanning 21,000 acres, Ghost Ranch is located in the high desert of northern New Mexico, 70 miles north of Santa Fe. Owned by the Presbyterian Church, the ranch is welcoming to everyone.
Breathtaking views of red and yellow cliffs, Abiquiu Lake and Pedernal Mesa have inspired countless musicians, theologians, and generations of artists, most famously Georgia O’Keeffe.
Day visitors and overnight guests are welcome. Rooms are rustic yet comfortable and many are historic buildings from the ranch’s earliest days as a dude ranch. Several tiers of lodging, including campsites, offer something for every budget and adventure type.
Several hiking trails, year-round O’Keeffe Landscape Tours and Trail Rides, two museums, seasonal swimming pool, dining hall and trading post make this a perfect retreat destination.
Over 200 workshop packages in the arts, spirituality, religion, wellness, archaeology, outdoor and family activities are offered annually.
Of special interest is Wild Christ, Wild Earth, Wild Self: A Nature Based Introduction to Seminary of the Wild, which is actually a two year training program for pastors, for spiritual leaders who are already embedded in communities. These are the sorts of folks that are standing on the edge of change and want to respond faithfully by reimagining what it means to be church, by reimaging church in the wild, a way of engaging in ecological and social justice issues in a deep and transformative way. Offered in June and October of 2020.
Visit GhostRanch.org for a catalog of these and other workshops.