The Future of the Study of Religious and Spiritual Experience: 50th Anniversary of the Religious Experience Research Centre

Alister Hardy painting

1st-3rd July 2019, Lampeter Campus


In 1969 Sir Alister Hardy invited scholars to Oxford to discuss whether a scientific approach to the study of religious and spiritual experience was possible. Following this symposium he founded the Religious Experience Research Centre (RERC). Now, 50 years on, we continue to engage with the study of spiritual and religious experience, albeit with greater urgency in the context of progressive secularisation.

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary with a three-day conference on the Lampeter campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David which hosts the research centre now. The conference will look back at the work of the research centre during the past five decades and also look forward to the future, with keynote lectures from Prof Ann Taves (University of California, Santa Barbara, former President of the American Academy of Religion), Prof Jeremy Carrette  (University of Kent) and Prof Leslie Francis (University of Warwick), chair of the Alister Hardy Trust Board of Trustees.

The RERC Conference will offer opportunities to senior academics as well as Master's students and doctoral researchers to present their work on topics related to religious and spiritual experience. If you would like to contribute a paper or organise a panel, please submit an abstract (app. 300 words) with a short biographical statement together with your academic affiliation by 11 March 2019 (via the Conference Registration form below).

The RERC Conference is supported by the Alister Hardy Trust and will run from 1 to 3 July 2019 on the Lampeter Campus. There will be a conference fee that will also cover lunch, coffee/tea (approx. £18 per day) as well as an option for dinner (approx. £20 for dinner). The University has reserved accommodation (B&B) for delegates in one of the halls of residence (approx. £35 B&B per night).

The RERC conference will be followed by the Fourth Annual Interfaith conference (July 4-5, 2019).  Information about the Interfaith Conference will follow later on the Interfaith Conference webpage. 

This year, the official hashtag for the conference is #RERC2019. We encourage all uploading posts and photographs on social media to kindly use this hashtag.

The registration will close soon. The names of the speakers for each panel can be found by following the link to the programme site.