(Con)spirituality, Science and the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia: Material and Digital Practices
with Deakin University scholars: Anna Halafoff, Andrew Singleton, Enqi Weng, and Alexandra Roginski.
Funded by the International Research Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society, UK, 2020-2021
This research examines the complex nexus between science and religion in relation to the topical social issue of (con)spirituality, focusing primarily on individuals’ lived experiences in Australia. Conspirituality is the merger of conspiracy theories and spirituality. Interest in conspiracy theories is not new, and these theories often blend historical, religious and scientific ideas to challenge explanations of events and data provided by scientific experts, authorities and mainstream media. In addition, there has been a rise in the number of people, often within the wellbeing industry, who hold conspiritual views and claim that COVID-19 is a construct of the deep-state and a sign of end times. We choose to bracket the ‘con’ to problematise the term conspirituality, as many spiritual people critique of modernity and capitalism is informed and non-violent, working toward more sustainable ways of living, through ideas and practices whose validity is increasingly bolstered by science.