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Olga Louchakova-Schwartz
Adjunct Lecturer in Spirituality and Phenomenology of Religion

Professor Olga Louchakova-Schwartz is a comparative religionist, phenomenological philosopher, and an ordained minister of mind-body healing. She studied phenomenological psychology with Amedeo and Barbro Giorgi, and phenomenological philosophy with Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. Her areas of specialization are psychospiritual development and transformation, conversion and spiritual awakening, spiritual guidance, and contemplative practice. Her chief research interests are in religious subjectivity, spiritual and religious experience, theology of migration, religious syncretism, and the idea of God in people and texts.  She is a Founding President of the Society for the Phenomenology of Religious Experience (

Olga Louchakova-Schwartz was a co-founding Director of Research at the Neurophenomenology Center in Silicon Valley (2007-2014).  She has chaired more than 35 doctoral dissertations in psychology of spirituality. As a volunteer clinical faculty member at the UC Davis School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, she has worked with trauma relief in disadvantaged communities in Turkey, India, the UK, Russia, Mexico, Estonia, Moldova, and the United States. The Hridayam® Public Health and Spirituality Program, which she developed and taught, was offered to more than 5000 people.

She has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, including interpretive commentaries on the phenomenology of life. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology(APA), and topical issues guest editor for Open Theology, De Gruyter (2017; 2018, 2019 to appear).

Her collaborative research on mental imagery of Tibetan monks was featured on BBC, Science Daily, and other important forums.  She has obtained over  $500,000 in federal and private research grants in spirituality and neuroscience, including a prestigious CODAPAR award with the American Psychological Association (2017).   In 2017, she was awarded the Dolores L. Christie CTSA Scholarship. 


Psychology of Spiritual Life
Comparative World Religions
Qualitative Research


Olga Louchakova-Schwartz (ed.). The Problem of Religious Experience: Case Studies in Phenomenology. (Contributions to Phenomenology, Spring 2019)

Guest-Editor, Open Theology (De Gruyter) 2017, Phenomenology of Religious Experience I
Guest-Editor, Open Theology 2018, Phenomenology of Religious Experience II: Perspectives in Theology
Guest-Editor, Open Theology 2019, Phenomenology of Religious Experience III: Visuality, Phenomenon, the Lifeworld
Guest-Editor, Open Theology 2020, Phenomenology of Religious Experience IV: Religious Experience and Description (forthcoming)
Selected Articles and Book Chapters

Louchakova-Schwartz, Olga. 2019. Wellbeing and Spirituality: Insights from World Wisdom Traditions. In S. Dhiman (ed.), Palgrave Handbook of Workspace Wellbeing., xx-xx Springer.

Louchakova-Schwartz, Olga. 2018. Intersubjectivity and Multiple Realities in Zarathushtra’s Gathas. Open Theology. 4(1): 471-488. Retrieved 29 Nov. 2018.

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2017. Qualia of God: Phenomenological Materiality in Introspection, with a Reference to Advaita Vedanta. Phenomenology of Religious Experience Open Access. Open Theology, 3 (1)257-273. Published online: 2017-05-18

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2016. Theophanis the Monk and Monoimus the Arab in a phenomenological-cognitive perspective. Cognitive Science of Religion Open Access. Open Theology, 2 (1) 53-78. February 2016.

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2015. A Phenomenological approach to illuminationist philosophy: Suhrawardī’s nūr mujarrad and Husserl’s reduction. Philosophy East and West, 64 (2),1052-81

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2014. Dia-Log(os): Genesis of communicological virtues in the phenomenology of life, with the reference to the Advaita Vedānta of Śaṅkara. Analecta Husserliana, CXVII. Phenomenology of Space and Time. 193-206. Springer.

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2014. The seal of philosophy. In A-T.Tymieniecka, N. Muhtarogl, and D. Quintern (Eds.) Islamic and Occidental Philosophy in Dialogue, 7, 71-101, Dordrecht: Springer.

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2013. Direct intuition: Strategies of knowledge in the Phenomenology of Life, with reference to the philosophy of illumination. In A.-T.-Tymieniecka (ed.),  Phenomenology and the Human Positioning in the Cosmos, Book 1.  Analecta Husserliana CXIII, 291-315. Dordrecht: Springer.

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2013. Cognitive phenomenology in the study of Tibetan meditation: Phenomenological descriptions versus meditation styles. In S. Gordon (Ed.), Neurophenomenology: Its Applications to psychology (pp. 61-87). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer

Louchakova-Schwartz, O. 2012. Self in the Path(o)s of the New Enlightenment: Towards a new clinical theory. Agathos. An International Review of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 1 / 2012, 7-30

Louchakova, O. 2005. Ontopoiesis and union in the Prayer of the Heart: Contributions to psychotherapy and learning. In A.-T.Tymieniecka (Ed.), Analecta Husserliana: Logos of phenomenology and phenomenology of the logos. Book four: The logos of scientific interrogation. Participating in nature–life–sharing in life (Vol. 91) (pp. 289-311). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer

Louchakova, O. 2005. On advantages of the clear mind: Spiritual practices in the training of phenomenological researcher. The Humanistic Psychologist, 33(2), 87-112