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Prof Peter Tyler

Professor - Pastoral Theology and Spirituality

About Research

Prof Peter Tyler is Professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality. 

He is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and contributes to the current dialogue between spirituality and psychotherapy. He is also Co-Editor of Vinayasadhana, a new journal for Psycho-Spiritual formation. 

Peter is the Director of St Mary’s research centre InSpiRe - The Centre for Initiatives in Spirituality and Reconciliation. 

You can follow Prof Peter Tyler's work by reading his blog, insoulpursuit.

Higher Education and Qualifications:

  • PhD awarded from Durham University. Title of thesis: Mystical Strategies and Performative Discourse in the theologia mystica of Teresa of Avila: A Wittgensteinian Analysis. (2000) 
  • Registration with the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists (UKCP) (2003)
  • The Minster Centre, Kilburn, NorthLondon. MA in Integrative Psychotherapy gained with Merit in Oct 2000. Title of dissertation: The Birth of Psychotherapy from the Spirit of Mythos. Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy. (1995–2000)
  • Heythrop College, University of London MTh in Philosophy of Religion. Dissertation: Theology after Wittgenstein? The Metaphysics of Realism and Anti-Realism in Wittgenstein, Kerr and the Contemporary Philosophy of Religion. (1992–1994)
  • Studying for the priesthood in the Society of Jesus (‘Jesuits’) at Manresa House, Birmingham and Selly Oak Colleges. Awarded Certificate in World Religions from Selly Oak Colleges. (1988–1990)
  • Living and studying at the Jesuit Theological College of St Georgen, Frankfurt–am–Main, Germany (1985–1987)
  • Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Specialising in British and Continental Philosophy (1981–1984)

Research

External involvement including consultancy, professional bodies and External Examining:

  • 2008 – present Visiting Scholar, Sarum College, Salisbury
  • 2016 – present Executive Board of the Carmelite Institute of Britain and Ireland
  • 2012 – 2016 Visiting Professor, Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2011 – 2016 Visiting Professor, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (Pontifical Athenaeum of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law), Bengaluru, India
  • 2014   Veale Professorial Chair, Milltown Institute, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2014 – 2016 External Examiner, MA Christian Spirituality, All Hallows College Dublin (DCU)
  • 2008 – 2012 External Examiner for the MA Programme in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop College, University of London.
  • 2006 - 2011 External Examiner for the Higher Diploma and MA Programmes in Applied Christian Spirituality and the Higher Diploma and MA Programmes in Supervisory Practice at the Milltown Institute, Dublin (National University of Ireland)
  • 2007 - 2010 Trustee of the Minster Centre for Training in Integrative Psychotherapy at Queen’s Park, London.
  • 2005 - 2012 Representative of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, Department of Dialogue and Unity on the English Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee (ARC).

Professional Societies: 

  • UK Council for Psychotherapists
  • The Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality
  • The Catholic Theological Association
  • Mystical Theology Network
  • London Society for the Study of Religion
  • The Edith Stein Kreis

Publications:

Books:

  • Tyler, P.M. and C. Cook, J. McLean (ed), Mystical Theology: Renewing the Contemplative Tradition. London: Routledge, 2018
  • Tyler, P.M., Confession: The Healing of the Soul. London: Bloomsbury, 2017
  • Tyler, P.M. and E. Howells (ed), Teresa of Avila: Mystical Theology and Spirituality in the Carmelite Tradition. London: Routledge, 2017
  • Tyler, P.M., The Pursuit of the Soul: Psychoanalysis, Soul-making and the Christian Tradition. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2016
  • Tyler, P.M., Picturing the Soul: Revisioning Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction. Bangalore: Dharmaram, 2014
  • Tyler, P.M., Teresa of Avila: Doctor of the Soul. London: Bloomsbury (manuscript with publishers, publication 2013)
  • Tyler, P.M. and R.Woods, The Bloomsbury Guide to Christian Spirituality. London: Bloomsbury, 2012
  • Tyler, P.M. The Return to the Mystical: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Teresa of Avila and the Christian Mystical Tradition. London: Continuum, June 2011
  • Tyler, P.M and Howells, E., Sources of Transformation: Revitilising Christian Spirituality. London: Continuum, 2010
  • Tyler, P.M., St John of the Cross: Outstanding Christian Thinker. London: Continuum, 2010
  • Tyler, P.M., The Way of Ecstasy: Praying with St Teresa of Avila. Norwich: SCM/The Canterbury Press, 1997 

Chapters and Articles in Books:

  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Wittgenstein Reads Merton: the Mystical Theology of Two Twentieth-Century Masters’ in Tyler, P.M. and C. Cook, J. McLean (ed), Mystical Theology: Renewing the Contemplative Tradition. London: Routledge, 2018
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Mystical Affinities: St Teresa and Jean Gerson’ in Tyler, P.M. and E. Howells (ed), Teresa of Avila: Mystical Theology and Spirituality in the Carmelite Tradition. London: Routledge, 2017
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Awakening of the Heart: Psycho-Spiritual Reflections on Consecrated Life’ in Consecrated Life for a Transformed World: Catholic, Ecumenical and Interreligious Perspectives in a Globalizing Era. Ed S. Chackalackal. Bengaluru: Dharmaram, 2016
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Rabindranath Tagore and Ludwig Wittgenstein: Two Sentinels on the Borderlands of Modernity’ and ‘Philosopher as a Therapist: Learning from Wittgenstein’ in Religious Interface: Secular, Sacred and Rationality. Ed J. Nandhikkara. Bengaluru: Dharmaram, 2016
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘To Centre or Not to Centre: Ss.Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross and the “Centre of the Soul”’ in Christian Mysticism and Incarnational Theology - Between Transcendence and Immanence, ed. L. Nelstrop and S. Podmore. Surrey: Ashgate, 2013
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Psychology of Vocation’ in The Disciple’s Call: Theologies of Vocation from Scripture to the Present Day, ed. C. Jamison. Edinburgh: T & T Clarke, 2013
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Mystical Theology as Theologia Mystica’ in Dom Augustine Baker 1575 - 1641, ed. G. Scott. Leominster: Gracewing, 2012
  • Tyler, P.M., St John of the Cross and Thomas Merton in Journey to the Heart: Christian Contemplation Through the Centuries. Ed. K. Nataraja, Norwich: SCM-Canterbury Press, 2011
  • Tyler, P.M. Pastoral Theology and the Catholic Mystical Tradition in Keeping Faith in Practice: Pastoral Theology in the Catholic Tradition, ed J. Sweeney, G. Simmonds, D. Lonsdale. London: SPCK, 2010
  • Tyler, P.M., Articles on The Cloud of Unknowing, Miguel de Molinos, Catholic Mystical Tradition, Luis de Granada and The Carmelites in The New Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity. Ed. D. Patte. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • Tyler, P.M. Articles on Alumbrados, Sufism and Christianity and The Triple Way in The New SCM Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, ed. P. Sheldrake, London: SCM, 2005
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘The Next Certitude’ in Faith in the Age of Uncertainty, ed. Sharma, S., New Delhi: Indialog, 2002 

Journal Articles: 

  • Tyler, P.M. , ‘Swami Abhishiktananda and the Possibility of Christian Sannyāsa’ in Studies in Spirituality, Vol. 27, 2017
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Nature and Possibility of Christian Sannyāsa’ in Vinayasādhana, January 2017, Vol. VIII, No. 1
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Times and Seasons of the Spiritual Life’ in Retreats 2017, January 2017
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Llullian Spirit of Ecclesium Suam’ in Melita Theologica, Vol. 66, No. 2, 2016
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Final Act? Renunciation and the Possibility of Christian Sannyāsa’ in The Pastoral Review, November/December 2016, Vol. 12:6
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Francis Project: Pope Francis and Laudato Si’’ in The Pastoral Review, January/February 2016, Vol. 12:1
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Return of the Soul: Psychology, Theology and Soul-Making’ in New Blackfriars, January 2016, Vol 97: 1067
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Loving or Thinking?: Teresa of Avila’s Language of the Soul’ in Mount Carmel, Vol. 63/4 October-December 2015
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Philosopher as a Therapist: Learning from Wittgenstein’ in Journal of Dharma, Vol. 40, No. 3, July-September 2015
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Choreography of Psychology and Religious Understanding’ in Vinayasādhana. Vol. VI, No.2. July 2015
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Rabindranath Tagore and Ludwig Wittgenstein: Two Sentinels on the Borderlands of Modernity’ in Journal of Dharma, Vol. 40, No. 1, January- March 2015
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Carl Jung: Friend or Foe of Christianity?’ in Vinayasādhana. Vol. VI, No.1. January 2015
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Mindfulness, Heartfulness or Soulfulness? Teresa of Avila, Otto Rank, James Hillman and the Return of the Soul’ in Milltown Studies, No. 74, Winter 2014
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Psychotherapy and Counselling: Pseudo-Science or Pseudo-Myth?’ in The Bangalore Review. Vol. 1, No. 10. March 2014
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘ “The Cell will Teach you Everything”: Carmel and the Desert Tradition’ in Mount Carmel. Vol. 61, No.1, Jan-March 2013
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Age of the Laity’ in The Pastoral Review, Vol 8:2, March/April 2012
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘The Roots of Desert Spirituality’ in The Pastoral Review, Vol 7:5, September/October 2011
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘The Desert Tradition and Christian Spiritual Direction’ in Vinayasādhana. Vol 2, No.2. July 2011
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘The Mystical Strategies of St Teresa of Avila’ in Tattua: Journal of Philosophy. Vol.3, No.1, Jan-June 2011
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘A Path to Inner Freedom: Spiritual Direction According to St John of the Cross’ in Mount Carmel. Vol. 59, No.1, Jan-March 2011
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘Healing the Butterfly: Reflections on the Relationship between Psychotherapy/Counselling and Christian Spiritual Direction’ in Vinayasādhana. Vol 1, No.1. January 2010
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘Merton at Fifty’ in The Merton Journal. Vol 17, No.1 2010 Tyler, P.M., ‘”Let us Behold Ourselves in Your Beauty”: John of the Cross as Christian Artist’ in Mount Carmel, Jan – March 2010. Vol 58, No.1
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Credere con il corpo’ in Gioventù Evangelica, LVIII, Winter 2008 
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Thomas Merton 40 Years On: A Post-Modern Guide for Troubled Times’ in The Pastoral Review, Vol 4:6, November/December 2008
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘Becoming Adult: Reflections on the English and Welsh Catholic Bishops’ Document ‘The Priority of Adult Formation’’ in The Pastoral Review, Vol 4:2, March/April 2008
  • Tyler, P.M., ‘St John of the Cross: That Much Misunderstood Mystic’ in The Pastoral Review, Vol 3:3, May/June 2007
  • Tyler, P.M The Stulta Sapientia: Spiritual Direction and the Christian Mystical Tradition’. Presence: The International Journal for Spiritual Directors. March 2007
  • Tyler, P.M ‘Lessons from the Christian Mystical Tradition for Healthcare Today’. Spirituality and Healthcare International. Autumn 2006
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘A Spirit of Optimism’: Thomas Merton and a Christian Spirituality
  • for a New Millennium’ in The Pastoral Review, Vol 2:4, July-August 2006
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘On Christian Prayer’ in Spirituality, Vol. 9, No.49, July-August 2003
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘Thomas Merton: Ikon of Commitment for the Postmodern Generation’ in The Way Supplement: The Postmodern Generation, No.98, 2000
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘What Carmel Means to Me: The Night Journey of Prayer’ in Mount Carmel, Vol. 47, No.4, Jan-March 2000 
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘The Next Certitude’ in India International Centre Quarterly, Vol. 26 +27, Nos 4 + 1, Spring 2000
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘Our Heritage of Prayer: St Benedict and his School for the Lord’s Service.’ in The Catholic Gazette, Vol. 91:4, April 2000
  • Tyler, P.M. ‘At the Heart of Life’ in The Tablet, 26th July 1997 

Book Reviews and Editorial Work: 

  • 2006 – present. Reviews Editor and Editorial Adviser. The Pastoral Review.
  • 2010 – present. Deputy Editor Vinayasāsadhana: Journal of Psycho-Spiritual Formation. Published at Dharmaram College, Christ University, Bangalore
  • 2010 – present. Editorial Adviser, Mount Carmel Journal. Journal of the Teresian Carmelites of the Anglo-Irish Province
  • Peer reviewer for the journal Theology and Bloomsbury Press and have submitted reviews in recent years to all the above journals as well as International Journal for Systematic Theology, The Way, Journal of Contemporary Religion and Carmelus, I am/have been a peer reviewer for Routledge, Ashgate, Bloomsbury, T & T Clark, SPCK, Canterbury-SCM Press and the Bible Reading Fellowship.

Conference Presentations/ Broadcasting/Preaching: 

  • Jeanne-Marie Guyon: Christian Mindfulness or Mystic Contemplation? at ‘Madame Guyon (1648 – 1717) Mystique et Politique à la Cour de Versailles’, Université de Genève, Switzerland, November 2017
  • About Soul. Multi-media event including launch of the film About Soul by Timothy Wainwright, Birkbeck College, London University, November 2017
  • Mindfulness and Mental Prayer: The Training of the Heart in the Iberian School of Abbot García de Cisneros of Montserrat and St Teresa of Avila at ‘Meditation in Buddhist-Christian Encounter.’ The 12th Conference of the European Network of Buddhist-Christian Studies, Abbey of Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain, July 2017
  • Mystical Desire: St Ignatius of Loyola and Affective Dionysianism at ‘Id Quod Volo: the Dynamics of Desire in the Spiritual Exercises and Postmodernity’, Campion Hall, Oxford University, January 2017
  • Christian Mindfulness: A Mystical Dialogue? at ‘Comparative Mysticism: Renewing a Neglected Project’, Glasgow University, December 2016
  • Christian Mindfulness and Contemplative Dialogue at ‘Congrès Dialogue des Rationalités Culturelles et Religieuses’, Institut Catholique de Paris. June 2016
  • Mindfulness in Christian Context. The National Retreat Association, Royal Foundation of Saint Katherine, June 2016
  • Mindfulness, Christianity and Pastoral Care. Research Seminar at Durham University, May 2016
  • Jean Gerson and the Climate of Spanish Affective Spirituality. Research Seminar at King’s College, London, March 2016
  • The Awakening of the Heart: Psycho-Spiritual Reflections on Consecrated Life at Consecrated Life in the Globalized Era: Catholic, Ecumenical and Interreligious Perspectives, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bengaluru, India, January 2016
  • Spiritual Affinities – Teresa of Avila and Jean Gerson at the Conference: Teresa of Avila 1515 – 2015 – Mystical Theology and Spirituality in the Carmelite Tradition. St Mary’s University, June 2015
  • Otto Rank and the Battle for Freud’s Soul. Research Seminar at Digby Stuart Centre for Religion , Society and Human Flourishing, University of Roehampton, March 2015
  • Saying and Showing: The Choreography of Psychology and Religious Understanding. Heythrop College Research Seminar, London University, February 2015
  • John of the Cross: Outstanding Christian Thinker, Renfrew House, Oxford University Centre for Continuing Education, February 2015
  • Psychology, Theosis and the Soul: St Teresa of Avila, St Augustine and Plotinus on the Western Picture of Theosis at ‘Theosis/Deification: Christian Doctrines of Divinization East and West’, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, January 2015
  • The Philosopher as Therapist: Learning from Wittgenstein at Christ University, Bangalore, India. January 2015
  • Rabindranath Tagore and Ludwig Wittgenstein: Two Sentinels on the Borderlands of Modernity at the Conference: ‘Dharma: Interface between Secular and Sacred’ at Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore, India, January 2015
  • St Teresa of Avila’s Picture of the Soul. Veale Chair Professorial Lecture at Milltown Institute, Dublin, November 2014
  • The King of the Dark Chamber: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rabindranath Tagore and the Mystical Turn. Inaugural Professorial Address. St Mary’s University, October 2014
  • Wittgenstein Reads Merton: The Mystical Theology of Two Twentieth Century Masters at the Conference: Mystical Theology – Renewing the Contemplative Tradition. Durham University, September 2014
  • The Llullian Spirit of Ecclesiam Suam at the Conference: The Catholic Church in Dialogue: Ecclesiam Suam and its Legacy. St Mary’s University, June 2014
  • A Future Clothed in Light: Revisioning Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction. Canisius Endowment Lectures, Christ University, Bangalore, India, January 2014
  • Teresa of Avila and Her Interpreters. University of Chichester Theology Department, May 2013
  • ‘Mystics and Analysts’, Renfrew House, Oxford University Centre for Continuing Education, November 2012
  • Guest Preacher: Westminster Abbey, July 2012
  • ‘The Psychology of Vocation’ at Seminar of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales on the Promotion of Vocation, Douai Abbey, July 2012
  • ‘Mindfulness, Mindlessness and No-Self in Christian and Buddhist Contemplation’ at ‘The Cave of the Heart: Mindfulness, Contemplation and Social Renewal’, St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, June 2012
  • Guest Preacher: Trinity Hall, Cambridge University. February 2012
  • Keynote Address: ‘To Centre or Not to Centre: The Centre of the Soul in Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross’ at ‘Theological Explorations of Christian Mysticism’. Keble College, Oxford University. January 2012
  • Keynote Address: The Mystical Strategies of St Teresa of Avila at ‘Mysticism Without Bounds’, Christ University, Bangalore, India. January 2011
  • ‘Mystical Writing as Theologia Mystica’ at the English Benedictine Symposium. Douai Abbey, September 2009
  • Teresa of Ávila’s Strategies of Embodiment in The Meditaciones Sobre Los Cantares. Delivered at conference ‘Sources of Transformation: Revitalising Traditions of Christian Spirituality for Today’. St Marys University College, Twickenham, July 2009
  • Keynote Speaker: Healing the Butterfly: Reflections on the Relationship between Psychotherapy and Spiritual Direction. Third International Slieve Croob Conference, Morne, N. Ireland. October 2007
  • ‘Teresa of Avila – Mystic for Today’. South London Third Order of Carmelites. October 2007
  • ‘Pathways Up the Mountain’. Series of four presentations with representatives from Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist traditions on the relationship between the mystical traditions of the four faiths and the Christian mystical tradition. London Diocesan Centre for Spirituality, Lombard St, London. September – November 2007
  • ‘Accompanying the Spiritual Journey of Others’. Opening presentation for the South East Institute for Theological Education ( Anglican Ordination Training for South East of England). Canterbury, June 2007
  • ‘Sexuality and Spiritual Direction’ Training Days for Anglican Dioceses of Bath and Wells and Worcester, September 2006 and April 2007
  • Lecture: ‘The Unconscious: Western and Eastern Models ‘ for Conference ‘Contemporary Spirituality’, Sarum College, Salisbury, May 2006
  • Mysticisms for the New Millennium. Keynote speaker at Catholic Association for Retreats and Spirituality Annual Conference, The Hayes Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire. Talk published in The Pastoral Review, July/August 2006. January 2006
  • There is an extended interview with me in the film ‘One Wisdom’ directed by Markus Werner. It was released in 2013.
  • Radio interview given for BBC Radio 4 ‘Something Understood’ with Sir Mark Tully broadcast on 4th June 2006.
  • Other Radio appearances include interviews on BBC Radio 4 ‘Beyond Belief’ and ‘Last Word’.