Join Dr. Helane Wahbeh, IONS Director of Research, and Dr. Stanley Krippner, IONS Fellow, at highly interactive event hosted by the Parapsychological Association.
This symposium will gather researchers from different disciplines to reflect on the many relations between parapsychology, religion, and spirituality, and their implications for an understanding of the past, present, and future of psi research. This interdisciplinary and interactive space will allow for a rich dialogue between these different research fields.
Parapsychology and the Study of Religion and Spirituality
August 28-29, 2019
Frederic Myers stated that the chief purpose of psychical research was “to prove the preamble of all religions”. J.B. Rhine, in his turn, argued that “parapsychology has in a real sense confirmed the spiritual (i.e., extra-physical) nature of man”. Many theologians and religious studies scholars have also recognized the profound interconnection between parapsychology and the study of religion. Curiously enough, few studies have investigated the relationship between psi and religious or spiritual variables. The study of the relations between these two fields does not feature as a prominent aspect of contemporary psi research.
Some parapsychologists might see such topics as problematic, perhaps because of criticisms raised by skeptics that parapsychology is a spiritual movement (rather than a science), or because of their own views regarding the relevance of spiritual or religious issues in experimental investigation. However, one can hardly deny the influence (even if only implicit) of different spiritual traditions over the history of parapsychology including Christianity, Spiritualism, Eastern mysticism (particularly Indian philosophical traditions), shamanistic practices, esoteric and psychedelic religions.