Dr Wendy Dossett

Wendy is Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Chester, Programme Leader for the MA in Religious Studies and Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project. She is a former Associate Director of the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre, and Secretary of the Shap Working Party for Religions in Education. She has research interests and publications in Japanese Buddhism, religious education, religious and spiritual experience outside of institutional settings, and in spirituality and recovery from addiction. She has worked with people in recovery at a residential rehabilitation centre, and undertaken field research amongst those in twelve step programmes for recovery from addiction.   The first findings of the Higher Power Project have been published as ‘Addiction, Spirituality and the Twelve Steps’ in International Social Work. May, Vol. 56, No.2, 2013

As a researcher in Religious Studies with a focus on spirituality Wendy is keen to explore the language used by people in recovery. Her main focus is on Twelve-step spirituality, but she is also interested in spiritual, communitarian and practice-based dimensions of many other recovery methodologies.  She is interested in the relationship between the language of spirituality used in the wider population and that of recovering communities. The association of spirituality with recovery is highly controversial in today’s pro-secular medicalised environment, and she sees the task of clarifying the nature of the language used as important. Wendy’s approach is neither to promote nor defend particular understandings of spirituality or recovery, but to enable the people involved to tell their stories.

Role in CSARS Group: Wendy is Director of Research for CSARS Group and the Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project.

Contact Wendy:  w.dossett@chester.ac.uk