Overview of Interests
Dr. Hamman's research and writing has focused on the psychodynamics of loss and sadness, the psychological foundations of compassionate religious leadership, the transformative power of play and our deepening relationship with technology. As Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology and Culture at Vanderbilt Divinity School, he is interested in how families grieve and live with chronic sorrow, for instance, and how especially a lack of grieving impacts all members of a family. He also continues to investigate what kind of religious education empowers spiritual leaders to reach out to marginalized groups in the community, including persons with disabilities. At Vanderbilt Divinity School, Dr. Hamman is the Director of the Program in Theology and Practice, a program interested in preparing theological educators that are mindful of religious practices and the lived experience of individuals, families and communities. This interdisciplinary program is recognized amongst peer institutions for its excellence and other institutions are now modeling themselves after the T+P program. Dr. Hamman is co-founder and president of the Nashville Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Housing Group, which places persons with an IDD alongside future pastoral leaders, educators and researchers in Friendship Houses. Currently two Friendship Houses are in operation. Besides an interest in religion, psychodynamic theory, play studies and technology, his hobbies include long-distance motorcycle travel and hosting a braai.
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