Exploring spirituality and magic’s impact on development practices

2 March 2018

Dr Thomas Smith, lecturer in Human Geography at Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning, has recently completed editing a Special Issue of the journal Third World Thematics.

The Special Issue was co-edited by Amber Murrey (American University in Cairo) and Hayley Leck (Kings College London) and titled ‘What kind of witchcraft is this?’ Development, Spirituality and Magic.

Published in December 2017, the collection represents a significant intervention into thinking on witchcraft, spirituality and development. Contrasting case studies (spanning the local, national, and borderlands) are used to examine the current and possible future co-productions of development through various forms of spirituality.

Dr Smith explained: “The editors and authors argue that spirituality and witchcraft are frequently marginalised or ignored in development practices, and each of the papers highlights how they are important to contemporary development issues in a range of international contexts.

He continued: “Magic, spirituality, witchcraft and the uncanny are ubiquitous in everyday social encounters, including in the global North, and so this collection argues that they must be taken into account across a range of development projects, including those that deal with ecology, climate change, health, local development, violence and conflict resolution.”

The Special Issue contains 14 original papers by 21 authors exploring issues connected to three overarching themes and how they intersect with the philosophies and practices of witchcraft and magic across the world. The three themes are Violence, Capitalism and Colonialism; Health and Healing; and Climate Change and the Environment.

Read the full collection of papers online.

For more information visit the School webpages.