Join Dr Mark Anderson for a free public lecture this weekend at the University of Oxford as he explores some of the most intriguing realms of supernatural belief.

Magic and ritual have had profound significance for societies all over the world and throughout human history as powerful expressions of religious thought. But why has the supernatural always been so important to us as a species?

Mark will take us on an anthropological journey through 350,000 years of the human story into fascinating and lesser-known dimensions of the occult. He will investigate how our essential need for the supernatural has manifested in different forms around the world, from the sublime to the unsettling. Through a cross-cultural anthropological lens, we will glimpse an aspect of humanity that can be both enlightening and terrifying.

The lecture forms part of the 2018 Open Day of the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, as it celebrates 140 years of lifelong learning.

The event will run for two days on Friday 31st August and Saturday 1st September, with over 90 free educational sessions scheduled for anyone with a passion for learning and discovery.

You can explore the full Open Day itinerary, check the availability of sessions and book your place via the website of the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education.

Dr Mark Anderson is an anthropologist, archaeologist and educational developer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Mark is the author of Marothodi: The Historical Archaeology of an African Capital.

Want to learn more?

Mark will lead the Akkadium College online course Supernatural: The Anthropology of Ritual, Magic and the Occult from October 2018.

He will also be teaching the Anthropology of Ritual and Religion weekly evening class at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education in Hilary Term (January to March) 2019. Both courses are enrolling now.