Fuller Seminary is pleased to congratulate Kutter Callaway, who is leading a team that recently received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from Templeton Religion Trust (TRT). Dr. Callaway is the William K. Brehm Chair of Worship, Theology, and the Arts, and the Associate Dean of Fuller’s Center for Advanced Theological Studies.
The grant, titled “Measuring the (Im)measurable in Real Life,” seeks to measure the psychosocial-spiritual effects of aesthetic experiences of art. Drawing upon empirical methods found in the psychological sciences combined with a theoretical grounding in theology and philosophy, this project explores the functional value of the arts and the potential for aesthetic experiences to lead to spiritual, religious, and transcendent forms of insight.
“Building on established research on the psychology of art and religion, we’re able to assemble sets of images and accompanying tests that zero in on precisely how images elicit spiritual experiences,” said Callaway, who recently earned his PhD in Psychological Science from Fuller’s School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy.
The research team will be conducting a series of experimental studies in person, online, and through a unique piece of Virtual Reality to ask, “Is it possible to quantify spiritual forms of understanding prompted by art?” and, “If so, what difference does that make?”
Callaway is the principal investigator for this project and will be working with Wade Rowatt and Sarah Schnitker, both from Baylor University. The grant began in June 2022 and runs through May 2025.