Pierre-Yves Brandt was born in Biel, Switzerland. He studied psychology and theology. He received his PhD in psychology (1988) and his ThD (2001) at the University of Geneva. In 1999 he has been appointed as Associated Professor for the psychology of religion at the University of Lausanne. He headed the Faculty of Theology and Religious studies at The University of Lausanne from 2006 to 2010. In 2009 he was promoted to Full Professorship. Since 2001, he is also President of the Foundation Archives Jean Piaget.
Pierre-Yves Brandt teaches the bachelor course “Introduction to the psychology of religion” at the universities of Lausanne and Geneva. Since 2005, his teaching activity extended in Lausanne to the Master level with lectures on “Identity construction and self-consciousness: historical and intercultural approaches”. Among other aspects, it is focused on the analysis of the therapeutic framework in varieties of spiritual counselling practices and healing rituals, processes of self-transformation promoted by religious traditions, identification models carried by religious systems, the study of transmission processes and the relation master-disciple.
Concerning research, Pierre-Yves Brandt tries to apply psychological theories, concepts and methods on behaviours, attitudes and beliefs present in the religious field. His research and scholarly interests have concentrated on the place of the religious dimension in the construction of personal identity, not only in the contemporary world but also in the Antiquity, as well as on children’s representation of God. A part of his research concern is oriented to the place given in the hospital setting to the spiritual and religious resources of patients.
Pierre-Yves Brandt is a member of the Executive Board of the International Association for the Psychology of Religion (IAPR). He is Chair of the Swiss Association for the Psychology of Religion (ASPsyRel). He is also a member of the Swiss Society for the Science of Religion (SSSR), the European Association for the Study of Religions (EASR), the International Association for Medical-Psychological and Religious Studies (AIEMPR) and l’Association Genevoise pour l’Ethnopsychiatrie. He is also a Life Member of Clare Hall, College of the University of Cambridge, UK.