Louise Livingstone

Prior to entering postgraduate study I worked as a marketing director, careers consultant,
and as the director of my own therapy and training company. After gaining an MSc with
distinction in Holistic Science from the Schumacher College in Devon (2014), today I am a
PhD researcher at Canterbury Christ Church (CCCU), exploring ways in which we can have
enabling conversations about current global challenges.
My PhD research involves excavating the heart from its position of subservience in relation
to the head/brain (where all valid knowledge is perceived to originate), and making the case
for the wisdom of the heart to return our conversations. My research is inspired by religious
philosopher Henry Corbin, archetypal psychologist James Hillman, and the Sufi mystical
tradition which states that the heart is an important organ of perception – as vital as the
head in helping to generate knowledge about, and navigate, life. Specifically, I am exploring
reasons for the apparent disconnection of the head from the heart, which is now
understood to be simply a mechanical pump with only sentimental connections to love and
emotion. While for thousands of years the heart occupied an important position in
culture, helping people to engage with, and develop knowledge about, the world, today the
heart has been removed from conversation – rendered subservient to knowledge as
produced by the brain particularly within the public arena. While numerous people allude to
the heart and heart qualities (such as love, kindness, non-judgment and compassion) in daily
speech and particularly in conflict research literature, the actual role that the heart could
play is always frustratingly left unaddressed. Not just relevant to conflict resolution, my
research specifically addresses a ‘crisis of perception’, and therefore is applicable to many
global challenges that we are facing as a contemporary society. In addition to my research, I
am a tutor on the MA Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred that runs at CCCU.
PhD title:
How can the thought of the heart offer effective ways of engaging with conflict? An imaginal
and reflexive study
Research outputs: (please see my academia.edu page for more info)
 January 2019, Taking Our Hearts into New Worlds in Terra Two: An Art for Off-world
Survival Anthology, Valley Press
 November 2018, Taking Our Hearts into New Worlds, in Terra Two: An Ark for Off-world
Survival, York St John University, UK (link to paper here)
 Livingstone L. (2019): Taking Sustainability to Heart–Towards Engaging with Sustainability
Issues Through Heart-Centred Thinking (pp.455-467). In: Leal Filho W., Consorte McCrea A.
(eds), Sustainability and the Humanities. Springer, Cham (link to paper here)
 May 2018, Postgraduate Research Association Conference, Canterbury Christ Church
University (CCCU). Theme – Crossing Boundaries. Delivered poster: Crossing Boundaries
with the Heart (available here)
 September 2017, Holism Conference, University of Essex. Paper – Wholeness: Perceiving
Dynamic Unity
 June 2017, In Other Tongues conference, University of Falmouth and Schumacher College,
Devon – delivered paper: Dialoguing with Nature Through the Thought of the Heart (link to
paper here)
 June 2017, Education Scholarship Day, Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). Theme
– Creativity and Imagination; Inspiring Imaginative Scholarship. Delivered
presentation: Exploring the Metaphor of the Heart as a Research Symbol (available here)
 June 2016, ESREA conference, Athens. Delivered paper: From Ancient Greece to the Present
Day; How the Development of the Modern Mind Distanced Us from Genuine
Dialogue (available here)