The Rise of the Paranormal: Jeffrey J. Kripal

Date: October 20, 2016 -October 21, 2016
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall - C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

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Please join the Humanities Futures PARANORMAL Working Group for its Kick-off Event:

The Garden Next Door: How One Woman Was Struck by Lightning, Talked to God, and Came Back to Dream the Future

a lecture by

Jeffrey J. Kripal

J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought

Rice University

Friday, October 21



“The Garden Next Door: How One Woman Was Struck by Lightning, Talked to God, and Came Back to Dream the Future." In this lecture, Prof. Kripal will discuss his co-writing with Elizabeth Krohn. On September 2, 1988, Elizabeth was struck by lightning in the parking lot of her Houston synagogue while attending the first anniversary of her grandfather’s death. An elaborate near-death experience and numerous precognitive nightmares and paranormal phenomena followed. Prof. Kripal will describe some of Elizabeth’s most striking experiences and reflect on their possible meanings in the light of his work on the historical, semiotic and technological dimensions of the paranormal and a particular philosophy of mind sometimes called the "filter" or "transmission" thesis.

Related Seminars: The Rise of the Paranormal

Thursday, October 20


Friday, October 21


Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall

C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse

Franklin Humanities Institute

The seminars will focus on a chapter from Kripal’s new book/memoir/manifesto entitled Secret Body, which engages Frances Ford Coppola’s 2007 film Youth Without Youth, based on the novel by Mircea Eliade.

To obtain readings in advance, please register at by October 13.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Jeffrey J. Kripal’s present areas of writing and research include the articulation of a New Comparativism within the study of religion that will put "the impossible" back on the table again, a robust and even conversation between the sciences and the humanities, and the mapping of an emergent mythology or "Super Story" within paranormal communities and individual visionaries. He is the author of numerous books including, most recently: Comparing Religions (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014); Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal (Chicago, 2011); Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred (Chicago, 2010); Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion (Chicago, 2007). For more about his work, please visit:

ABOUT THE PARANORMAL WORKING GROUP: One Step Beyond: The Paranormal and the Limits of Reason is a Working Group supported by the Humanities Futures Initiative at the Franklin Humanities Institute. The project centers on what the historian of religion Jeffrey Kripal terms "anomalous experience." This working group aims to redress the silence around the "paranormal" (the supernatural, uncanny, magical, etc.) in 20th-century academic discourse by turning to what the artistic production and creativity, the sciences, religious belief and practice, and the experience of the everyday, as well as emerging scholarship in the humanities. Co-conveners: Joseph Donahue (English), David Morgan (Religious Studies), and Priscilla Wald (Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies / English).