Joe Cardoso

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Schools and Centres

Arts & Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr. Martin Philpott

Second Supervisor

Prof. Denis Ladbrook


The Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Kerala, India is internationally known for the changes it effects in the lives of its retreat participants. To date, over ten million participants have attended the retreats over a decade. However there is a dearth of empirical research on the change processes involved in this retreat experience. This study was formulated to investigate the following research question: how do the participants at the Divine Retreat Centre come to be what they come to be as a result of each day‟s experience of the six day Inner Healing Retreat? This study is a qualitative investigation and the research strategy of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was broadly adopted for collecting and analysing the data. Eight participants of the Inner Healing Retreat were interviewed at the end of each of the six days of this Retreat. The participants ranged between 19-55 years and included five men and three women who met the criteria for homogeneity: Goan-Catholic lineage, English-speaking, firsttime Retreat participants. The findings reveal that the change process unfolded through seven super-ordinate themes: Crisis, Surrender, Opening up, Confession, Counselling, Inner Healing and Baptism in the Spirit. These themes contribute to an understanding of the nature of religious change or the change processes operating at the Divine Retreat Centre. The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations for future research suggested.

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