• 61 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
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Personal profile

Research Interests

My current research explores the enduring psychological connections between religion, nonreligion, and the capacity for imagination. While the theoretical aspects of this relationship are wont, empirical investigation is lacking. Rather than assume religious and nonreligious representations exist as psychologically distinct phenomena within the imagination, I’m utilizing the most current evolutionary thinking and cognitive science to test this assumption. Therefore, my approach breaks down the cultural dichotomies that exist between things typically deemed religious (e.g., Jesus, prayer, synagogue attendance) and nonreligious (e.g., Harry Potter, Cosplay, video gaming). Moreover, my research will uncover how proximal or distal the psychological consequences of engagement with a wide range of imaginative agents and worlds are from each other.

Education/Academic qualification

MSc, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

External positions

Graduate Student Co-Representative , American Psychological Association Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality Division 36


Managing Editor, The Religious Studies Project

2015 → …


  • BF Psychology
  • psychology of religion
  • cognitive science
  • cognitive science of religion
  • BL Religion
  • nonreligion
  • atheism
  • nonbelief
  • B Philosophy (General)
  • pragmatism
  • philosophy of mind
  • HM Sociology
  • secularization
  • GN Anthropology
  • cognitive anthropology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Tommy Coleman III is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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atheism Social Sciences
Religion Medicine & Life Sciences
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god Social Sciences
transcendence Social Sciences
Research Personnel Medicine & Life Sciences
Family Conflict Medicine & Life Sciences
Aptitude Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2019

3 Citations (Scopus)

Atheists on the Santiago way

Farias, M., Coleman III, T. J., Bartlett, J. E., Oviedo, L., Soares, P., Santos, T. & del Carmen Bas, M., 2019, In : Sociology of Religion. 80, 1, p. 28–44 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Researcher Degrees of Freedom in the Psychology of Religion

Charles, S. J., Bartlett, J. E., Messick, K., Coleman III, T. & Uzdavines, A., 2019, In : The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 29, 4, p. 230-245 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Religion and Psychology
Research Personnel
Psychology of Religion
5 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)

An Introduction to Atheism, Agnosticism, & Non-Religious Worldviews

Coleman III, T. J., Hood, R. W. & Streib, H., Aug 2018, In : Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. 10, 3, p. 203-206 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Death, quest, and self-esteem: re-examining the role of self-esteem and religion following mortality salience

Arrowood, R. B., Coleman III, T., Swanson, S. B., Hood, R. W. & Cox, C. R., 2018, In : Religion, Brain & Behavior. 8, 1, p. 69-76 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Self Concept
2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Introduction to the special issue: What are religious beliefs?

Coleman, T. J., Jong, J. & Van Mulukom, V., 2018, In : Contemporary Pragmatism . 15, 3, p. 279-283 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Open Access

Activities 2014 2018

  • 3 Editorial activity

Secular Studies (Journal)

Tommy Coleman III (Associate Editor)
Apr 2018 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

The Religious Studies Project (Publisher)

Tommy Coleman III (Editor)
2015 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Secularism and Nonreligion (Journal)

Tommy Coleman III (Associate Editor)
2014 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity