Zuzana Kostićová

Religious studies scholar, expert on contemporary alternative spirituality, ancient religions of Mesoamerica and Latin American inspirations of contemporary alternative spirituality. She has previously worked particularly on the Mayan religion and is the author of several books on Mesoamerican religions as well as specifically on the Maya and Mayanism.

However, in the few years leading up to the 2012 millennial phenomenon, she also began to focus on contemporary alternative spirituality (“new age”), initially especially on its dimensions inspired by the Indian religions of Latin America. Currently, she is particularly focused on exploring the emerging doctrinal features of contemporary alternative spirituality, including how they subsequently manifest in broader spirituality-influenced popular culture and media.

From the very beginning of scholarly reflection on conspiracy theories, their close connection to various forms of spirituality that stand outside the broader framework of traditional religions has come to the attention of experts. In particular, Campbell’s concept of the “cult milieu” has received attention. However, this notion must now be considered somewhat outdated and out of step with the rapid transformation that alternative spirituality has undergone in the last fifty years. The actual study of alternative spirituality is also relatively new and its connection with the study of conspiracy theories is still marginal. However, it is important to focus on the way in which the underlying themes of conspiracy theories change depending on whether they are linked to traditional religions (such as Christianity) or rather to alternative forms of spirituality. It is this point that Zuzana Kostićová focuses on.