Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit Invited Speaker Series 2018/19
Spirits on the First World War battlefields: Explorations in religion, psychical research, and popular belief
Violent, collective crises generate many extraordinary personal and national experiences that both transcend our sense of reason and our understanding of the boundaries of the possible. The First World War was no exception. It was considered at the time as a unique portal into the occult or hidden aspect of the human condition, a moment when the spiritual and the psychical fate of humanity was in the balance. Supernatural visions, such as the notorious appearances of ghostly medieval archers at the Battle of Mons in 1914, were reported and debated in a way never before experienced in national public life. Churches, occultists, and psychical researchers across the warring countries saw opportunities to extend their horizons and influence, while the public reached for traditional and novel ways of coping with the realities of warfare.
Bio: Owen Davies is Professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire. He has published widely on the history of witchcraft, magic, ghosts, and popular medicine.
Dates & times
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