Tanya Luhrmann on Magic, God, and the Supernatural

About Guest:

Tanya Marie Luhrmann is the Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology Department. She also holds a courtesy appointment in the Stanford Psychology Department. 

She received her PhD from Cambridge University in 1986. Her books include “Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft,” (Harvard, 1989); “The Good Parsi” (Harvard 1996); “Of Two Minds” (Knopf 2000) and “When God Talks Back” (Knopf 2012). 

In general, her work focuses on the way that ideas held in the mind come to seem externally real to people, and the way that ideas about the mind affect mental experience. 

One of her recent project compares the experience of hearing distressing voices in India and in the United States. Upcoming projects include “Other Minds: Essays on the Complex Construction of Subjective Experience” (UChicago Press, forthcoming), and “Uptown: Living on the Street with Psychosis.” She has also published numerous articles on magic, ritual, witchcraft, paganism, social technology, identity, evil, yearning, psychosis, absorption, hallucinations, and theories of mind, among others. 

Before coming to Stanford, Luhrmann taught at the University of Chicago and UC-San Diego. She has earned numerous awards, grants, and endowed lectureships, and has won prizes in recognition of the quality of her scholarship.