The Henry Myers Lecture 2022: Rethinking Ritual: How rituals made our world… and how they could save it

The lecture will be part of the Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society Virtual Conference

Places must be booked in advance.  You can book your place here.

The event will also be live streamed here.

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. 


Harvey Whitehouse's latest publication entitled The Ritual Animal: Imitation and cohesion in the Evolution of Social Complexity was published in November 2021 by Oxford University Press 

harvey lecture poster