Host Michael Taft speaks with author and professor Jeffrey Kripal about his early aspiration to be a Benedictine monk, the prophetic dimensions of the humanities, the sudden conversion, or “flip,” into a weirder worldview experienced by some materialist scientists, the phenomena of UFOs, alien abduction, altered states, Philip K. Dick, and how most breakthroughs into mysticism occur through trauma.
Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University, where he served as the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities, chaired the Department of Religion for eight years, and also helped create a doctoral concentration in the study of Gnosticism, Esotericism, and Mysticism that is the largest program of its kind in the world. He presently helps direct the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
Jeff is the author or co-author of thirteen books, and specializes in the study of extreme religious states and putting “the impossible” back on the academic table again. He is presently working on a three-volume study of paranormal currents in the history of religions and the sciences, collectively entitled The Super Story.
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