Conspiracy theories have been studied from various perspectives. In this talk, I want to offer a new context for their emergence and function, as well as present some of the important results of both quantitative and qualitative studies that have been done in Czechia. While conspiracism is very often studied as a thing in itself and researchers look for social or psychological explanations of its emergence, I will offer rather a "bird's eye" view, stressing the historical development of conspiracism from earlier forms and the context of other similar phenomena, which I call "contemporary mythology" (political mythology, national mythology, environmental mythology, mythology of alternative spirituality, fictional mythology). Various types of mythology are deeply interconnected, and conspiracism fills an important position in the map of these mythologies.
Jan A. Kozák, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Charles University, Prague, focusing on the theory of myth, both pre-modern and contemporary. In addition to several scholarly books, he also published translations from Old Norse and Latin and numerous articles. He has been a Marie Curie Fellow in Bergen in 2018-2020 and a Snorri Sturluson Fellow in Reykjavík in 2022. In 2021 he founded Conspirituality, a research group for the study of conspiracy theories, which is a network of experts in Czechia.