Dr Tasia Scrutton


I joined the School for Philosophy, Religion and History of Science (PRHS) in 2012.

Prior to coming to Leeds, I held the Frederick J. Crosson research fellowship at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame, USA (2011 - 2012), and was also an Associate Lecturer at the Open University (2006 - 2012). I did my PhD and MA at Durham University, and an MTheol Hons at the University of St Andrews.

I also had the pleasure of spending two periods of research at UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2014 and 2015).

Research interests

I'm a philosopher of religion and philosophical theologian with particular interests in religion and mental health, and in philosophical approaches to emotion and psychiatry.

Most recently, I've been researching both-and approaches to psychopathology and religious experience (that is, to the idea that, in some way, someone might be experiencing mental illness and the presence of God at one and the same time). 

My previous book, Christianity and Depression: interpretation, meaning, and the shaping of experience, was published by SCM Press in 2020. The book looks at (Christian and other) interpretations of depression - for example, that depression is the result of sin or of demonic possession; that depression is a biological and a disease; that depression is potentially transformative; that depression can be a Dark Night of the Soul. My book examines how these different interpretations affect people with depression. It also evaluates whether and when these interpretations are helpful and/or plausible.

More generally, I am interested in the relationship between religion, healing and well-being. Religions include not only beliefs held by individuals; they also involve communities and bodily practices, emotions, stories, sacred places, spaces and people. I'm interested in questions such as: what do religious practices and narratives add to the therapeutic value of religious beliefs? What kinds of practice are most conducive to well-being, and for whom? How can our theoretical understanding of religion and spirituality fully include people with cognitive impairments or mental disorders, rather than include them only in a secondary way?   

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • M.Theol (Hons) (StAnd)
  • MA (Dunelm)
  • PhD (Dunelm)

Student education

I currently teach several undergraduate modules on the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and on religion and mental health.

I also supervise PhD students on topics relating to my areas of research.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Philosophy of Religion and Theology
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>