John Snarey

John Snarey

Senior Research Psychologist; Franklin Nutting Parker Professor Emeritus of Human Development and Ethics


Post Doc, Harvard University, 1984
EdD, Harvard University, 1982
MA, Wheaton College, 1973
BS, Geneva College, 1969


Dr. John R. Snarey is the Franklin Nutting Parker Professor of Human Development and Ethics at Candler School of Theology. Named for Candler’s second dean, the Parker Chair honors outstanding research, teaching, and service, which Snarey exemplifies as a widely published psychologist and educator who has served on the Candler faculty since 1987.

Snarey is also a professor in the Graduate Division of Religion in the Laney Graduate School, an associated professor in the Department of Psychology and the Division of Educational Studies at Emory, and is affiliated with Emory’s Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture. He is also a past president of the University Senate and the Emory University Faculty Council.

A developmental-educational psychologist, he is interested in the psychology of morality and moral education, the psychology of religion and religious education, and the thought of William James. Snarey’s current research makes use of developmental, cross-cultural, neuroimaging and historical methods.

He is noted for his award-winning doctoral research and critical review in Psychological Bulletin on cross-cultural morality, his award-winning book How Fathers Care for the Next Generation: A Four-Decade Study (Harvard University Press, 1993), and his ongoing research on William James.

Snarey is a member of the executive board of the Association for Moral Education, serves on the editorial board of the journal William James Studies, and is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).


Co-editor, Race-ing Moral Formation: African American Perspectives on Care and Justice, Columbia University Teachers College Press, 2004

How Fathers Care for the Next Generation: A Four-Decade Study,  Harvard University Press, 1992

Co-editor, Remembrances of Lawrence Kohlberg, Emory University, 1988


“A Jamesian response to reductionism in the neuropsychology of religious experience,” in Archives for the Psychology of Religion,, vol. 40, issue 2-3, Brill, May 22, 2019

“Reflections on Generativity and Flourishing: A Response to Snow’s Kohlberg Memorial Lecture,” in Journal of Moral Education, vol. 44, issue 3, Taylor & Francis, March 16, 2015

“Moral education in the cognitive developmental tradition: Lawrence Kohlberg’s revolutionary ideas,” in Handbook of Moral and Character Education, Second Edition, Routledge, 2014

“Lawrence Kohlberg: His Moral Biography, Psychology, and Pedagogy,” in Portraits of Pioneers in Developmental Psychology, Psychology Press, 2011

Co-author, “The Neural Processing of Moral Sensitivity to Issues of Justice and Care: An fMRI Study,” in Neuropsychologia, vol. 45, issue 2, Elsevier, March 02, 2007

Co-author, “William James: The Varieties of Religious Experience and Moral Formation.” in [italics]Journal of Moral Education[italics], vol. 32, no. 4, Taylor & Francis, 2003

Editor, “The Natural Environment’s Impact upon Religious Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Study,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 35, no. 2, Wiley, June 01, 1996

“The cross-cultural universality of social-moral development: A critical review of Kohlbergian research,” in Psychological Bulletin, vol. 97, issue 2, American Psychological Association, March 01, 1985

Kuhmerker Career Award, Association for Moral Education

Moral Development and Education SIG Book Award (contributing author), American Educational Research Association

Fellow, American Educational Research Association

Fellow, American Psychological Association

Albert E. Levy Scientific Research Award (article co-author), Emory University

Moral Development and Education SIG Book Award for Race-ing Moral Formation: African American Perspectives on Care and Justice, American Education Research Association

Marie C. Keel Award for Excellence in Mentoring, Educational Psychology, GSU

James Moran Award for Exceptional Research in Family Relations & Child Dev., AAFCS

William J. Goode Book Award first runner-up, American Sociological Association

Outstanding Human Development Research Award, American Education Research Association

Psychology of Moral Development and Moral Education

Erik Erikson: The Life Cycle and Education

Psychology of Religion

William James Doctoral Seminar

Moral Development and Education Doctoral Seminar