James Van Slyke, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology
NOH 117
559-453-4607
james.vanslyke@fresno.edu

Education

Ph.D., School of Theology and Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 2008
M.A., Biblical Studies and Theology, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 2002
M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy, School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 2001
B.S., Psychology, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, 1995

Professional and Service Experience

  • Committee member, Institutional Review Board, Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA, 2012-present 
  • Assistant professor, Fresno Pacific University, Fresno, CA, 2011-present
  • Tobis research fellow, University of California, Irvine, 2011-present
  • Assistant research professor, Travis Research Institute, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 2008-present
  • Adjunct instructor, Azusa Pacific University, 2003
  • Adjunct instructor, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA, 2003-2004

Honors and Awards

  • Understanding Virtue: New Directions Bridging Neuroscience and Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary and California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 2011
  • Science and Values, Selected Participant: Travel Award, The Venice Summer School on Science and Religion, Venice, IT, 2010
  • Darwin, Peirce, and God, Selected Participant: Travel Award, STARS Summer Workshop, University of California, Berkeley, 2010
  • The Rationality of Ultimate Value: Emotion, Awareness, and Causality in Virtue Ethics and Decision Neuroscience, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences Research Grant, Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series, 2009-2011
  • Evolution and Human Uniqueness, selected participant: Travel Award, The Venice Summer School on Science and Religion, Venice, IT, 2009
  • Integrating Theology and Cognition: Theological and Philosophical Issues in the Cognitive Science of Religion, University of Oxford research grant, Principal Investigator, Cognition, Religion and Theology Project: Empirical Expansion in the Cognitive Science of Religion and Theology, 2008-2009
  • The Rationality of Ultimate Value: Emotion, Awareness, and Causality in Virtue Ethics and Decision Neuroscience, Co-Investigator, Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences Research Grant, 2008-2009
  • The Rationality of Ultimate Value: Emotion, Awareness, and Causality in Virtue Ethics and Decision Neuroscience, Co-Investigator, Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences Research Planning Grant, 2007-2008
  • Complexity Theory, Emergence, and the Influence of Life on Matter, selected participant: Travel Award, Science and Transcendence Advanced Research Series, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2007

Professional Affiliations

  • Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2011-2012
  • International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 2010-2012
  • Working Group on Culture, Cognition and Religion, 2009-2012
  • Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, 2002-2012
  • American Academy of Religion, 2002-2012

Publications and Presentations

  • Theology and the Science of Morality: Virtue Ethics, Exemplarity, and Cognitive Neuroscience, with G.R. Peterson, K.S. Reimer, W.S. Brown and M.L. Spezio (Eds.), Routledge, New York, NY, 2012
  • "Naturalizing moral exemplarity: Contemporary science and human nature," with G.R. Peterson, K.S. Reimer, W.S. Brown, M.L. Spezio (Eds.),  Theology and the Science of Morality: Virtue Ethics Exemplarity, and Cognitive Neuroscience, Routledge, Newyork, NY, 2012
  • "Virtuous courage: New methods for the interdisciplinary study of virtue," with K.S. Reimer, M.L. Spezio, W.S. Brown, G.R. Peterson, Science, Ethics, and Politics: Conversations and Investigations, In. K.R. Monroe (Ed.), Boulder, CO, Paradigm Press, 2011
  • "Maturity is explicit: Self-Importance of traits in humanitarian moral identity," with K.S. Reimer, C. Young, B. Birath, M.L. Spezio, G. Peterson, W.S. Brown, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7 (1), 36-44, 2011
  • The Cognitive Science of Religion: Religion and Science Series, Aldershot, UK, Ashgate Publishing, 2011
  • "Personality's role in moral action," with M.S. Spezio, G. Peterson, W.S. Brown, K.S. Reimer, Science 332, 1380-1381, 2011
  • "Evolutionary and cognitive factors in the emergence of human altruism," Zygon, 45 (4), 841-860, 2010
  • "Challenging the by-product theory of religion in the cognitive science of religion," Theology & Science, 8 (2), 163-180, 2010
  • "The rationality of ultimate concern: Moral exemplars, theological ethics, and the science of moral cognition," with G. Peterson, M.L. Spezio, W.S. Brown, and K.S. Reimer, Theology & Science, 8 (2), 139-161, 2010
  • "Creation, belief, and cognitive science: Reduction and the cognitive science of religion," Wesleyan Theology and Social Science: The Dance of Practical Divinity and Discovery (pp. 69-82), In M.K. Armistead, B. Strawn, & R.Wright (Eds.), Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010
  • Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development, Reinhold Niebuhr, In E.M. Dowling and W.G. Scarlett (Eds.), Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, 2005
  • Encyclopedia of Religious and Spiritual Development, Martin Buber, In E.M. Dowling and W.G. Scarlett (Eds.), Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, 2005

Presentations:

  • "Sexual Selection and Religion," with J. Lynn, presented at the Southern California Working Group on the Cognition, Culture, and Religion, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, June 2012
  • "Neuroscience and Ethics: How Do We Make Moral Decisions?" presented at the UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics and Morality, University of California, Irvine, April 2012
  • "Theological Incorrectness and the Causal Relevance of Religious Beliefs," presented at the Southern California Working Group on the Cognition, Culture, and Religion, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, February 2012
  • "Studying Moral Averages and Moral Exemplarity Across Cultures," with K. Monroe, P. Zak, and L. Shults, Moderator at Understanding Virtue: New Directions Bridging Neuroscience and Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasdena, CA, May 2011  
  • "Generating Hypotheses: Evolutionary Theory and the Virtues," with G. Peterson, M.S. Spezio, D. Navarez, and C. Boyd, panelist at Understanding Virtue: New Directions Bridging Neuroscience and Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, May 2011
  • "The Relation of Religion and Morality: Empirical Considerations," with L. Shults, D. Navarez, P. Ditto, and S. Quartz, moderator at Understanding Virtue: New Directions Bridging Neuroscience and Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA , May 2011
  • "Neuroscience, Virtue, Ethics, and the Possibility of Moral Exemplarity," presented at the Southern California Working Group in Cognition, Culture, and Religion, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, May 2011
  • "Embodied wisdom: An interaction of theological ethics, neuroscience, and psychology," with K. Thomas & K. Bennett, presented at the Common Day of Learning, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, March 2011
  • "Is Plantinga right about evolutionary psychology?" with D. Dunaetz & L. Martin, presented at the Philosophy Colloquium, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, February 2011
  • "Evolution, sexuality, and religion: Toward a multilevel model of the emergence of religion," presented at the Southern California Working Group in Cognition, Culture, and Religion at the University of California, Riverside, February 2011
  • "Between a sponge and a Swiss army knife: Toward an emergent view of cognition," response given at Psychology of Religion: Intensive Summer Seminar, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, August 2010
  • "The neuroscience of moral action: A focus on virtuous exemplars," with M.L. Spezio, K.S. Reimer, W.S. Brown, and G. Peterson, presented at the Human Brain Mapping Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain, June 2010
  • "Social schemas of moral exemplars: Latent semantic analysis of L'Arche caregiver interviews," C. Young, K.S. Reimer, M.L. Spezio, G. Peterson & W.S. Brown, presented at the Association for Psychological Science, Boston, MA,  May 2010 
  • "Divine parent, partner, or something else? Limitations for attachment theory in religious cognition of monotheist exemplars," with K.S. Reimer & A. Dueck, presented at the Southern California Working Group on Cognition, Culture, and Religion, Santa Barbara, CA, May 2010
  • "Virtue Ethics and Decision Neuroscience: Theory and Research," with W.S. Brown, K. Reimer, M.S. Spezio, & G. Peterson, Plenary Presentation at the Society of Psychology and Wesleyan Theology, Azusa, CA, March 2010
  • "Moderating value of guiding life principles on the moral personality," with L. Adelchanow, J. Muto, K. Reimer, M. Spezio, W. Brown, & G. Peterson, presented at the 117th Annual American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, ON, August 2009
  • "Working models of divine and human attachment in computational semantic space," with K.S. Reimer, presented at the International Association for the Cognitive Science of Religion: a pre-conference workshop for the Cognitive Science Society, Amsterdam, NL, July 2009
  •  "Neuroscience, transcendence, and moral exemplars," with G. Peterson, M.L. Spezio, W.S. Brown & K.S. Reimer, presented at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2008
  • "Virtuous decisions: Exemplarity in and out of the laboratory," with M. L. Spezio, W.S. Brown, G. Peterson and K.S. Reimer, presented at the Society for Neuroeconomics Annual Conference, Park City, UT, September 2008
  • "A science of love: behaviorial and neuroscience study of the virtue of compassion," with W.S. Brown, K.S. Reimer, M.L. Spezio and G. Peterson, presented at Law and Love: Philosophy, Religions Studies, and Sciences in China and the West, Heidelberg, DE, July 2008
  • "Creation, belief, and cognitive science: reduction and the cognitive science of religion," presented at the Society for the Study of Psychology and Wesleyan Theology, Durham, NC, March 2008
  • "Therapeutic relationships," guest lecturer for Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling, Fuller Seminary Intensive, San Diego, CA, July 2007
  • "Religion and cognitive science: cognitive constraints and top-down causation," presented at the Society of Christian Philosophers Western Regional Conference, Azusa, CA, February 2007
  • "Neural correlates of visual consciousness in the occipital love," commentary on presented paper at the Society of Christian Philosophers Wester Regional Conference, San Diego, CA, February 2006
  • "Religious concepts and explicit cognitive systems: Rethinking the modular view of mind and the development of religious beliefs and actions," presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Rochester, NY, November 2005
  • Panel organizer for "Evaluating Theological Incorrectness: Religious Beliefs and human cognition. Theological incorrectness and explicit cognition: Challenging the modular view of the mind," presented at the North American Association for the Study of Religion, Philadelphia, PA, November 2005
  • "Cognitive science and the emergence of symbolic thought: Semiotic theory and the development of religious cognition," presented at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA, November 2005
  • "Religion and cognitive science: Cognitive constraints and top-down causation," presented at the Metanexus Conference on Science and Religion: Global Perspectives, June 2005
  • "Top-down Causation, Cognitive Science, and Religion: Developing a Non-reductive view of the Cognitive Science of Religion," presented at the American Academy of Religion Western Regional Conference, Tempe, AZ, March 2005
  • "Theology in the flesh: The role of the body in religious experience," presented at the American Academy of Religion, San Antonio, TX, November 2004
  • "Theology in the flesh: Religious experience and the embodied soul," presented at the American Academy of Religion Western Regional Conference, La Mirada, CA, March 2004
  • "Losing our souls: Materialism in religious and therapeutic discourse," paper presented at the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Anaheim, CA, June 2003