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Plenary and Henry Myers Lecture: Harvey Whitehouse "Rethinking Ritual: How rituals made our world… and how they could save it" 
Harvey Whitehouse (University of Oxford)
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David Shankland (Royal Anthropological Institute)
Start time:
7 June, 2022 at
Time zone: Europe/London
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

Rituals provide a way of defining the boundaries of social groups and binding their members together. This Myers Lecture attempts to unravel the psychology behind these processes, to explain how ritual behaviour evolved and how different modes of ritual performance have shaped global history over many millennia. Efforts to test the ‘ritual modes’ theory have used a wide variety of methods ranging from field research, large scale multi-country surveys, and controlled experiments through to mathematical modelling and quantitative analysis of archaeological, ethnographic, and historical datasets. The results of this research point to new ways of addressing cooperation problems in the twenty-first century: from preventing violent extremism and tackling crime to managing global pandemics and motivating action on the climate crisis.