Current PhD fellows

Hugh Turpin, PhD fellow, School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Denmark

Hugh studied philosophy (BA) at Trinity College Dublin and holds master’s degrees in social anthropology (MSc, Oxford) and cognitive science (MA, UCD). He is currently undertaking the joint QUB/Aarhus University PhD in the Cognitive Science of Religion. His research examines the effects on religious believers of exposure to behaviours on the part of their paragons/models which could be taken to suggest that the model in question does not in fact hold the beliefs they claim to hold. The research will examine the putative connection between religious hypocrisy/scandals and the abandonment of previously held theistic beliefs and religious commitments. It will be conducted through a mixture of lab-based experiments and ethnographic fieldwork carried out in the Republic of Ireland. Apart from the Cognitive Science of Religion proper, Hugh’s other research interests include non-religious socio-cultural phenomena that draw on the psychological technologies and propensities sometimes said to be exploited by religion, and the anthropology of Japanese society.

Anne Buch Møller, PhD fellow, School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University

Anne has an academic background in psychology and the Study of Religion and she has received extensive training in quantitative research methods. She is currently undertaking the joint Queen´s University Belfast/ Aarhus University PhD in the Cognitive Science of Religion. Her PhD project investigates the temporal dynamics of Christian prayer, stress and well-being at different temporal resolutions. Her main area of interest lies in the intersection between religion, health and coping.

Ingela Visuri, associate PhD Fellow of the RCC, based in Sweden where she shares her time between the departments for the Study of Religions at Gävle University and Södertörn University

Ingela Visuri has an MA in the Study of Religions. Her main interests lie in affective and experiential dimensions of religiosity, and she is currently working on an interdisciplinary PhD-project that explores religious experience in high functioning, young adults on the autism spectrum. The approach is anthropologically informed, complementing previous quantitative generalizations with first-person perspectives on autistic cognition. Special focus is directed towards the role of social cognition and embodied/sensory processes in the supernatural relations and experiences described by the participants.

Mathilde Hernu, PhD fellow, School of Culture and Society, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University, Denmark 

Mathilde obtained a BA in Psychology and a MA in Social Psychology at Paris 8 University, France. She worked as a research assistant and coordinator for large human trials at Oxford University and Coventry University, UK. Presently, she is pursuing the joint PhD in the Cognitive Science of Religion sponsored by Queen’s University, Belfast and Aarhus University. Her topic of research is the coexistence of natural and supernatural explanations. The aim is to examine the extent to which these different explanations can be invoked by the same individual to explain events or states located in space and time such as misfortunes, life threatening illnesses and natural catastrophes. She hypothesises that the motivations and mechanisms underpinning this phenomenon relate to a psychological need for control and to an understanding of causal links in terms of morality.