Understanding Spiritual Abuse

Understanding Spiritual Abuse

The University of Otago – Centre for Theology and Public Issues and Te Kupenga Catholic Theological College are co-hosting an online public lecture, “Understanding Spiritual Abuse” by Professor Lisa Oakley on Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Prof. Lisa Oakley’s research is principally around faith, safeguarding and abuse. In recent years she has researched safeguarding adults, child abuse linked to faith and belief and spiritual abuse. She has also worked with colleagues at Bournemouth University on a project exploring the impact on researchers of conducting sensitive research or research with marginalised groups. Her most recent piece of research is in Collaboration with Prof Moira Lafferty on safeguarding children and young people in international Christian work.


Understanding Spiritual Abuse


Prof Lisa Oakley is currently the Chair of the National working group for child abuse linked to faith and belief. One of our current tasks is reviewing the National Action Plan and producing a revised version of this to promote more effective identification, response and prevention. I am also a member of the national FGM centre advisory group. I chair the Church of England Task and Finish group for Spiritual Abuse, where we are developing policy and practice in this area.

Prof Lisa Oakley is a visiting fellow at Bournemouth University, a Chartered Psychologist and a Senior Fellow of the HEA.


The Centre for Theology and Public Issues examines political, social and economic issues from a theological perspective. The University of Otago’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues is the first research centre in New Zealand to examine political, social and economic issues from a theological perspective

Te Kupenga is the home of three national agencies: the Catholic Theological College, responsible for providing approved tertiary qualifications; the National Centre for Religious Studies, responsible for supporting religious education in Catholic schools and adult faith formation; and the Nathaniel Centre for Bioethics, responsible for research and advocacy on bioethical issues

Date: Tuesday, 8 August 2023
Time: 7-8 pm
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Zoom link

Meeting ID: 940 1629 9257; Password: 219926