Episode 60

Published on:

17th Nov 2022

Interview with Manvir Singh on Gurus & Shamans

We are back with another academic-themed interview with the evolutionary/cultural/cognitive anthropologist Manvir Singh. That's right two anthropologists from the same relatively obscure field on the same podcast but don't hold that against Manvir, we promise he's much more insightful than Chris!

Indeed, Manvir joins us to share his expertise on Shamanism and to examine whether there are any significant parallels between Shamans and Gurus. Along the way, you will gain new esoteric knowledge into things such as the differences between prophets, gurus, and shamans; whether evolutionary anthropology is all bunk; and the importance of linguistic and kinetic performances for generating credibility and authority.

Matt was absent during the interview so he could not keep Chris' tangents in check but he does participate in the ever-extending discussions in the intro and outro segments. Here you will discover the respective grievances that our hosts have been mongering, as well as how Matt deals with some critical feedback from disgruntled psychoanalysts!

In short, there is something for everyone. So open your third eye and join us on an ecstatic spirit flight as we reveal the secret cosmic mysteries of the modern gurus (for those brave enough to listen).


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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.