Ed Chan-Stroud


Professor Mark Wynn, Dr Joanna Collicutt, Dr Matthew Kirkpatrick 


Kellogg College

Research Overview:

My work brings together psychology and theology to explore the nature of Christian spirituality. I am particularly interested in the nature of affective experience, especially the affective nature of experiencing God. To explore this my DPhil looks at the relationship between God representations and spiritual well-being, locating the discussion within Christian worship. As I do so I draw on Object Relations Theory (especially Donald Winnicott) as well as Attachment Theory and Positive Psychology.

Research Area/s: 

Systematic Theology; Psychologically-Engaged Theology.


After studying Philosophy and Theology at Durham University I moved to Cambridge University for my MPhil studies, focusing on the relationship between knowing and loving in the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. Following this I worked alongside Children’s Social Care teams. This was where I first came across the concept of trauma-informed practice. The work I did on trauma and trauma-informed care sparked a new interest in psychology and psychotherapy, both of which I substantially engage with in my DPhil. These two disciplines have also helped make connections with pastoral theology and the experience of those within church communities. Given this direction I have particularly enjoyed teaching at Ripon College Cuddesdon and Wycliffe Hall, both of which have given a chance to explore how a psychologically-engaged theology might shape church practice. In exploring this it has been hugely valuable to be on the working group of the John Templeton Foundation’s ‘Science-Engaged Theology for Seminaries’ programme as well as The Harvard University Human Flourishing Programmes’ Spirituality and Flourishing Interest Group.

Select Publications:

  • ‘Violence Reduction Units and Family Hubs – an opportunity for joint working’, Mutual Ventures, (March 2020, here)
  • ‘Becoming Trauma Informed – a recommendation for the future of the Troubled Families Programme’, Mutual Ventures, (January 2020, here)
  • The Need for Community, Centre for Social Justice, (June 2016, here)

Conference papers:

  • ‘Flourishing and Faith communities’ at Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Programme’s Spirituality & Flourishing Interest Group, (2023).
  • ‘Worship and Attachment Theory’ at The Applied Theology Research Seminar, Oxford University, (2023).
  • ‘Worship and Affect’ at The Harvard University Human Flourishing Programme’s Spirituality & Flourishing Interest Group (2022).
  • Response to Dr. Katharina Opalka’s ‘Spirituality – a methodological approach’ at The Oxford-Bonn Doctoral and post-Doctoral Colloquium, University of Bonn, (2022).
  • ‘Humility: an encounter between St. Augustine and Positive Psychology’, at North American Patristics Society, Chicago, (2022).
  •  ‘Post-traumatic remaking: a psychologically engaged theology of the Eucharist’ at The Christian Ethics Research Seminar, Oxford University, (2022).
  • ‘God-concepts and spiritual well-being’ at New ways of Doing Philosophy of Religion: Postgraduate symposium, Birmingham University, (2022)
  • ‘Affliction and the (mis)translation of beauty: the hermeneutical consequences of trauma’ at Simone Weil Colloquy, American Weil Society, Notre Dame, (2022).
  • ‘How does John 17 conceive of the relationship between the Self and the Other?’, at Noesis, Cambridge University Theology Faculty Postgraduate Seminar, Cambridge, (2015).

Academic Interests: 

Psychologically-Engaged Theology, Theology of Flourishing, Mysticism, Experience, Object Relations Theory, Positive Psychology, Attachment Theory, Affects, Trauma Theology, Simone Weil, Worship and the Sacraments.

Academic Related Activities: 

  • Guest Lecturer at Ripon College Cuddesdon (2022-3).
  • Guest Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University (2022-3).
  • Member of the John Templeton Foundation’s ‘Science-engaged Theology for seminaries’ Working Group .
  • Member of The Harvard University Human Flourishing Programme’s Spirituality and Flourishing Interest Group.
  • Society for the Study for Christian Ethics, Postgraduate Representative (2022-3).
  • Reviewer for The Journal of the Oxford Graduate Theological Society (2023)