Episode 52

Published on:

21st Aug 2022

John Vervaeke & Jonathan Pageau: Decoding the Demons

Ahead of the forthcoming sense-making full course decoding of Jordan Hall, Daniel Schmactenberger, and Jamie Wheal (see here!), we offer a bite-sized morsel of sense-making to whet your episode.

Here Matt and Chris engage in a 'short' session of gurunalysis, or guruology (if you prefer the original Latin). The subject of the gurunalysis is a conversation between the cognitive scientist & philosopher, John Vervaeke and the amateur theologian/icon carver, Jonathan Pageau. Specifically, we join these two as they apply sensemaking to delve deep into the spine-chilling world of demonology. Are demons real creatures, patterns of thought that resonant in collective cognition, or maybe both? And what about daemons, egregores, banshees, how do they fit in?

Join us for this special mini decoding and find out!


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About the Podcast

Decoding the Gurus
A psychologist and an anthropologist try to make sense of the world's greatest self-declared Gurus.
An exiled Northern Irish anthropologist and a hitchhiking Australian psychologist take a close look at the contemporary crop of 'secular gurus', iconoclasts, and other exiles from the mainstream, offering their own brands of unique takes and special insights.

Leveraging two of the most diverse accents in modern podcasting, Chris and Matt dig deep into the claims, peek behind the psychological curtains, and try to figure out once and for all... What's it all About?

Join us, as we try to puzzle our way through and talk some smart-sounding smack about the intellectual giants of our age, from Jordan Peterson to Robin DiAngelo. Are they revolutionary thinkers or just grifters with delusions of grandeur?

Join us and let's find out!
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About your hosts

Christopher Kavanagh

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A Northern Irish cognitive anthropologist who occasionally moonlights as a social psychologist. Chris has long standing interests in the psychology of conspiracy theorists and pseudoscience. His academic research focuses on the Cognitive Science of Religion and ritual psychology. He lives happily in Japan with his family.

Matthew Browne

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An Australian psychologist and numbers-guy. He does research on all kinds of stuff, but particularly enjoys looking into why people believe the things they do: religion, conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and stuff. He's into social media in the same way people slow down for car accidents.