Kate Stockly

Kate Stockly is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in the Scientific Study of Religion. Her work combines research from affective neuroscience, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology to construct bio-cultural theories of embodied religious ritual. Kate’s first book, High On God: How Megachurches Won the Heart of America (co-authored with James K. Wellman, Jr. and Katie Corcoran; Oxford 2020) looks closely at the affective and emotional dynamics animating evangelical megachurches. Kate’s second book, Spirit Tech: The Brave New World of Consciousness Hacking and Engineering Enlightenment (co-authored with Dr. Wesley J. Wildman; St. Martin’s Press 2021) looks at the ways in which brain-based technologies such as neurofeedback, transcranial magnetic stimulation, virtual reality, brain-to-brain and brain-machine interface technologies, and even psychedelic substances (natural and synthesized) are being applied by spiritual seekers to set in motion a new, modern, post-Axial age wave of spirituality in the United States. Kate also analyses the pervasive gender/sex difference in religion and spirituality from a bio-psycho-social perspective. Putting the critical humanities—especially feminist materialism and affect theory—into conversation with the biological sciences, she theorizes how spiritual and mystical experiences can manifest differently in different genders/sexes. Kate is a Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Mind and Culture and leads a team of researchers on the Sex Differences Project, which has built a large cross-cultural dataset on gender/sex issues such as domestic violence and religion variables such as spirit possession. Lastly, She is a 2008 graduate from Pacific Lutheran University, where she double majored in Religion and Psychology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies; and she is a 2012 graduate from the University of Washington’s International Studies in Comparative Religion masters program. Kate can be reached at kstockly@bu.edu. (GDRS)

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