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My religion specialism is Buddhism. My PhD used Pure Land Buddhism as a case study to challenge 'essenece and manifestation' models of religious classification. As part of my PhD I undertook long-term field work at a temple in Tokyo. On my return from Japan, I trained as a Secondary School Religious Education teacher, and spent the following six years training Secondary RE teachers and running a Religious Education Resources Centre. I'm interested in theoretical questions about the relationship between religious education, religions, worldviews, non-religion and society.
I have two decades of experience as an A level principal examiner (Asian Religions and Religion in Contemporary Society) for one of the four Public Examination Boards. This has involved writing A level syllabuses, setting papers, leading marking teams, and providing CPD for teachers. From 2004-2012 I was Secretary of the Shap Working Party for Religions in Education, a lobby group of RE/RS professionals founded in 1969 by Ninian Smart and others, to ensure that education in religions considered religions in general, and not only the religion of the British establishment. I have represented TRS-UK (the body representing all UK HEI departments of TRS) on the RE Council of England and Wales.
In my previous post at the University of Wales, Lampeter, I was an Associate Director of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, which houses the well-known archive of more than 6,000 accounts from the general public of religious and spiritual experiences.
As part of my interest in spirituality and addiction recovery I write about the range and variety of Buddhist approaches to addiction recovery.
In 2010-11 I spent a year supporting people seeking recovery in a residential drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centre.
I advocate for greater awareness of the presence of students in staff in recovery from addictions in our universities, and for the wider Visible Recovery Movement.
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