What happens when you die? The ways different cultures and individuals respond to this question determines not only the rise of different practices and institutions, both secular and religious, but crucially informs the way people conduct their lives. The Afterlife Research Centre (ARC) is a research network and virtual forum which aims to generate and disseminate cross-cultural ethnographic research into the meaning and relevance of afterlife beliefs in people’s lives. As ethnographers with a background in anthropology we are not seeking to prove a case, but wish to develop ethnographic methodologies to investigate, without explaining away, the effects of beliefs and practices relating to the afterlife, such as: the spirit world, mediumship, trance, possession, shamanism, healing and religious experience.
Book Announcement: 'Strange Dimensions: A Paranthropology Anthology' Edited by ARC member Jack Hunter.
Book Announcement: 'Exploring New Monastic Communities: The (Re)invention of Tradition' by ARC member Stefania Palmisano.
Journal for the Study of Religious Experience. Launch of the First Issue of JSRE, online open access peer-reviewed Journal promoted by the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre (RERC).
CfP: Lived Religion an Ethnographical Insight. Panel at the Ethnography and Qualitative Research Conference. University of Bergamo, Italy, 8-11 June 2016.
Conference: Bodily Dimension, Experience, and Ethnographic Research. Session at the ISSR 2015 Conference “Sensing Religion”. Programme.
Conference Report: The Study of Religious Experience in Lampeter: Report on a one-day conference organised by the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre.
CfP: Body Knowledge in Religions: Panel at the IAHR 2015 World Congress.
Conference Announcement: ‘The Study of Religious Experience in Lampeter’ a one-day conference organised by the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David on Friday 4th July 2014.
Fiona Bowie Lecture: Fiona Bowie will be giving a Lecture on 'Ethnographic Approaches to the Afterlife' on Saturday 7th June 2014 at Canterbury Christ Church University.
BBC Beyond Belief on Religions in Brazil: ARC member Bettina Schmidt, Andrew Dawson, and Daniel Clark discuss 'The Changing Face of Religion in Brazil' on BBC Radio 4's 'Beyond Belief'.
Book Announcement: We are pleased to announce the publication of 'Talking With the Spirits: Ethnographies From Between the Worlds,' edited by Jack Hunter and David Luke.
Anthropology and the Paranormal: Report of a symposium hosted by the Centre for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute, California, from 13-17 October 2013.
MA in Myth, Cosmology, and the Sacred: A new interdisciplinary Masters programme offered by Canterbury Christ Church University.
David Gordon Wilson Lecture Now Online: Dr. David Gordon Wilson talk on 'Why is Spiritualism a Shamanism, and what does Foucault have to do with it?' is now available to listen online.
Nicholas Campion Lecture: Dr. Nicholas Campion's talk on 'Magic, Myth and the Space Race' is now available online.
Paul Devereux Lecture: Paul Devereux's Lecture on 'Time, Mind and Place: The Archaeology of Consciousness' is now available to listen online.
Bettina Schmidt Lecture Now Online: Dr. Bettina Schmidt's talk on 'Spirit Possession in Brazil' is now available to listen to online. 28/02/2013.
Bettina Schmidt Lecture: Dr. Bettina Schmidt will be giving a talk on 'Spirit Possession in Brazil' on Wednesday 27th February 2013. 13/02/2013.
Book Announcement: 'Kuna Art and Shamanism: An Ethnographic Approach' by Paolo Fortis. 02/02/2013
David Luke Lecture: Dr. David Luke's will be giving a Lecture on "Anthropology, Parapsychology & Psychedelics" on February 13th 2013. 02/02/2013.
Book Announcement: 'Why People Believe in Spirits, Gods and Magic,' an ebook by ARC member Jack Hunter.
ARC Network Meeting 2012: The ARC Network Meeting on Wednesday 5th December was full of lively discussion. A selection of photos are now online. 07/12/2012
Fiona Bowie Lecture: Dr. Fiona Bowie's Lecture on "Sixth Sense, Psychometry and Spirits of Place" for the Anthropology, Consciousness and Culture Lecture Series. Audio-recording now available online. 29/11/2012
Gregory Shushan Lecture: Dr. Gregory Shushan will be giving a talk on the origins of afterlife beliefs on November 15th 2012. 1/11/2012
Paranthropology Vol. 3 No. 4: The October 2012 issue of Paranthropology is now available to download for free.
Ronald Hutton Lecture: The inaugural lecture of the Anthropology, Consciousness and Culture series will feature Ronald Hutton's talk on 'Modern Paganism and Witchcraft'. 07/10/2012
Lecture Series: Anthropology, Consciousness and Culture 13/09/2012
Award Announcement: Royal Anthropological Institute's Sutasoma Award 2012 awarded to ARC anthropologist Emily Pierini for research on spirit mediumship 05/09/2012
Book Announcement: Paranthropology: Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal - Second Anniversary Anthology 02/08/2012
CfP IUAES 2013: The Extended Self: Relations between Material and Immaterial Worlds 14/06/2012
New Titles available on the ARC Bookstore 14/06/2012
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Free access peer-reviewed Journal
A network of people
interested in Afterlife Research
The Ontological Turn: New Ethnographic Approaches, Theories and Analysis of Spirit Mediumship, Shamanism, Religious Ritual and Discarnate Phenomena.
Panel at the IUAES 2016 International Congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 4-9 May 2016. Panel 514. Organiser Fabian Graham.
Call for Papers
Bodily Dimension, Experience, and Ethnographic Research
Panel at the 33rd ISSR Conference “Sensing Religion”
Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), 2-5 July 2015.
CfP: Body Knowledge in Religions
Panel at the International Association for the History of Religions
XXI World Congress, Erfurt, Germany, 23-29 August 2015
Call for Papers
The Extended Self: Relations between Material and Immaterial Worlds
ARC Panel at the IUAES World Congress 2013
Programme and audio-recordings
Anthropology, Consciousness and Culture Lecture Series
ARC Research Seminar & Network Meeting 2012
University of Bristol, 5th December 2012
Schedule available click here
ARC Workshop 2011
To listen to the workshop presentations online click here