Most scholars dismiss research into the pararmal as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paraid or gullible. Even historians of religion, whose work naturally attends to events beyond the realm of empirical science, have shown scant interest in the subject. But the history of psychical phemena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped source of insight into the sacred, and by tracing that history through the last two centuries of Western thought we can see its potential centrality to the critical study of religion. The cultural history of telepathy, teleportation, and UFOs; a ghostly love story; the occult dimensions of science fiction; Cold War psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and, the intimate relationship between consciousness and culture all come together in Authors of the Impossible , a dazzling and profound look at how the pararmal bridges the sacred and the scientific.
Jeffrey J. Kripal is the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is the author of several books, including Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion and The Serpent's Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion, both published by the University of Chicago Press.