Wednesday, June 23, 2021   1:00 AM

New book - Parapsychology and Religion

Dear colleagues,

I am very happy to be able to announce the publication of my new book, Parapsychology and Religion by Brill Publishing. The book is part of the series Brill Research Perspectives in Religion and Psychology edited by Prof. Ralph Hood. Below you will find the abstract; and attached is also the table of contents, the book's summary, and the link to the book's website.

Abstract

“Parapsychology and religion” is perhaps the most controversial research area in the psychology of religion. Initially, psychology and parapsychology were not distinct disciplines but later dissociated as a result of the boundary-work carried out to establish the former as a natural science. In recent decades, the psychology of religion has witnessed a growing literature bearing on ontological issues including parapsychological topics such as distant healing and near-death experiences. In this work, it is argued that despite the methodological and theoretical controversies that still surround the field of parapsychology, the findings of research on alleged anomalous processes merit serious scientific examination. More specifically, this work explores how parapsychological findings may inform research on religious/spiritual experiences. It begins with a brief review of the history of psychical research / parapsychology, pointing out its connections with the development of modern psychology and the circumstances that have set these research fields apart. After discussing some fundamental terminological and conceptual issues in parapsychology and psychology, the psychological literature on the paranormal is critically reviewed, arguing that over time it became less of a scientific endeavor and more of an ideological program devised to denigrate paranormal believers and experiencers. It is then shown how an informed, open-minded dialogue between parapsychology and psychology of religion might help us move beyond the present ideological disputes in favor of a unified perspective. A shift from belief to experience is defended and both the strengths and limitations of the latter are discussed, showing how parapsychology responds to such limitations through systematic observation and experimentation. The complex relations between parapsychology and religion over time are also reviewed, surveying the variety of perspectives embraced by parapsychologists in this regard and their implications for an understanding of religious experience and spirituality. 

Contents

PDF Flyer - provided by publisher

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