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Dr Andy Letcher

Dr Andy Letcher

Senior Lecturer

 Washington Singer Room 225


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


I began my career as an Ecologist before moving across to the humanities and the Study of Religion. I specialise in the critical and psychological study of what have been called 'dark green' religions: that is, religions that centralise their relationship to the nonhuman, such as Paganism, shamanism, animism and especially psychedelic spiritualities. I remain fascinated by the ways in which psychedelic experiences become interpreted through the language of religiosity and spirituality, but also by the hidden theological assumptions that sometimes lie behind psychedelic research, especially that regarding the psychology of mysticism. I am the author of Shroom. A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (Faber &Faber 2006), numerous papers on psychedelics, and have most recently studied the use of psychedelics amongst contemporary Druids. 


D.Phil Ecology, Merton College, The University of Oxford

PhD Study of Religion, King Alred's College, Winchester


Before arriving at the University of Exeter in 2023, I taught postgraduate course at Schumacher College, Devon, for seven years. In particular I devised and ran the MA Engaged Ecology, an environmental humanities programme. Prior to that I taught for many years as an Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and Bath Spa University.

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Research interests

  • The psychology of religion
  • Psychedelic spiritualities
  • Critical and qualitative analysis of psychedelic discourses
  • The psychology of psychedelic-occasioned mystical experience
  • Ritualised and animistic contexts of underground psychedelic/mushroom consumption
  • The contemporary use of the Fly Agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria)

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