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Book Launch: Harvey Whitehouse

March 1 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm



Tuesday 1 March 2022,  4.00pm-6.00pm (GMT)

This webinar will be held on Zoom, to register go here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqdO2vqz4rGtJL4ohDCd-PfVydU-b80pFO 

The RAI is proud to present this book launch event, which discusses a new theory of how ritual has shaped human societies over the millennia:

The Ritual Animal:
Imitation and cohesion in the Evolution of Social Complexity

Harvey Whitehouse 
(Chair of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford and Director of the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion (CSSC))

with discussants

Scott Atran

(Research Director Emeritus in Anthropology, Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Institut Jean Nicod − Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)

Robert N. McCauley

(William Rand Kenan Jr. University Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture, Emory University)

and David Shankland (Royal Anthropological Institute) as chair

Rituals are a way of defining the boundaries of social groups and binding their members together. This book seeks to unravel the psychology behind these processes, to explain how ritual behaviour evolved and how different kinds of ritual performance have shaped global history over many millennia. Although grounded in core ideas from anthropology, testing the theories developed in this book has required extensive collaborative studies across many disciplines, from controlled experiments with children in psychology labs and in Pacific island communities, to surveys with armed insurgents in the Middle East and Muslim fundamentalists in Indonesia, from measuring physiological measures of stress among football fans in Brazil, to statistical analysis of data on ten thousand years of world history. The results of all this research point to new ways of addressing cooperation problems: from preventing violent extremism to motivating action on the climate crisis.

The book is published by Oxford University Press and can be purchased here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-ritual-animal-9780199646364?cc=gb&lang=en  




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March 1 2022
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category: