Second Sight and Prophecy conference will put the future under the spotlight

The University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute will host its Second Sight and Prophecy conference later this month.

Registration is now open for the event, which will take place in the MacRobert Building, King’s College, from June, 14-16.

The interdisciplinary conference welcomes participants from a range of academic disciplines including history, folklore, anthropology, divinity and sociology whose research interests cover a wide range of topics exploring varying methods used by different cultures (both now and in the past) to look into the future and the rationale for so doing.


The future has always held a fascination for humankind especially in times of tribulation and the conference will give delegates the opportunity to discuss the changes affecting so many of us in our current global context. The cultural role of seers and prophets, and the use of rituals, drugs and sacred sites will be examined.

Michael Hunter, Emeritus Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, will be keynote speaker at the event.  His paper, ‘Boyle’s legacy: Second Sight in English and Scottish Thought in the Long Eighteenth Century’ is based on his recent research and follows the success of his  seminal work, The Occult Laboratory; Magic, Science and Second Sight in Late 17th-Century Scotland (2001) and will set the tone for the conference.

The conference convenor, Dr Alex Sutherland from the University’s School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, is looking forward to the event.

He said: “The programme for the Second Sight and Prophecy conference is excellent and I am sure those who attend will enjoy the weekend.

“It is fantastic to be able to welcome Michael Hunter to the University as keynote speaker and I would advise anyone wishing to attend to book their place as soon as possible as places are limited.”

For further information on the conference or to register a place at the event.