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Alastair Lockhart

Dr Alastair Lockhart

Visiting Senior Research Fellow


I carry out research in the field of contemporary and 20th-century religion and belief, with a special interest in new and non-mainstream religion, the psychology of religion, and apocalypticism and millenarianism.

Current projects include critical and conceptual work on the evolutionary psychology of religion, and historical study of secular and theological responses to the atomic bombs of 1945.I have previously worked on the interactions between psychological theory-making and religion in Victorian and early-20th century Britain, with a focus on the adoption and adaptation of psychotherapeutic approaches in the interwar period. And, I have worked extensively on the archives of the Panacea Society, a millenarian religious group that was formed in England after World War I and continued until 2012. A monograph based on the research, Personal Religion and Spiritual Healing, was published by State University of New York Press in 2019.

I studied BA Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge before studying for an MSc in Computer Sciences and an MA in the Psychology of Religion, both at the University of London. My doctoral thesis, on 'Religion, Psychology and Metaphysics in Interwar Britain', was completed at Cambridge.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • Psychology of Religion
  • Contemporary/20th century religious history
  • Apocalypticism and millenarianism


Selected publications

Lockhart, Alastair (2019) Personal Religion and Spiritual Healing: The Panacea Society in the Twentieth Century. State University of New York Press.

Crossley, James and Alastair Lockhart (eds.) (2021) Critical Dictionary of Apocalyptic and Millenarian Movements.

Lockhart, Alastair (2023) 'The HADDs and the HADD-nots: Mystical Experiences and Religion in Evolution'. Religion, Brain and Behavior. 14 Mar 2023.

Lockhart, Alastair (2020) ‘New Religious Movements and Quasi-religion: Cognitive Science of Religion at the Margins’ in Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspsychologie 42(1): 101-122.

Lockhart, Alastair (2020) ‘Demise and Persistence: Religion after the Loss of “Direct Divine Control” in the Panacea Society’ in Michael Stausberg, Stuart A. Wright and Carole M. Cusack (eds.) The Demise of Religion: How Religions End, Die, or Dissipate. London: Bloomsbury Academic.