Dr. Fiona Bowie
Fiona Bowie studied Anthropology at the Universities of Durham and Oxford. She has taught in departments of Theology and Religious Studies and Anthropology in the Universities of Wales, Bristol, Linköping in Sweden and Virginia. She is a member of Wolfson College, Oxford and Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College London. Research interests and publications have included gender, religion and spirituality (The Beguines, Hildegard of Bingen, Celtic Christian Spirituality), nationalism and identity (Discovering Welshness, ‘Wales from Within’ in Inside European Identities), the anthropology of religion (The Coming Deliverer; The Anthropology of Religion with Blackwell has become a widely translated standard text), adoption and kinship (Cross-Cultural Approaches to Adoption), African religions and culture, and the Cameroonian diaspora (A Social and Historical Study of Christian Missions among the Bangwa of South West Cameroon, numerous chapters and articles). She is founder of the Afterlife Research Centre and is currently working on ethnographic approaches to the study of mediumship and the afterlife.
Dr. Thomas E. Bullard
Thomas E. Bullard received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and his doctorate in folklore from Indiana University. He remains a resident of Bloomington, IN, as an independent scholar. His primary interest in the realm of anomalous phenomena has been the UFO phenomenon, which was the subject of his doctoral dissertation and most of his subsequent writings. He has served as a board member of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR). His publications include The Myth and Mystery of UFOs (2010); UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge (2000, contributing author); The Sympathetic Ear: Investigators as Variables in UFO Abduction Reports (1995); and UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery (1987). His research interests include the phenomenology of UFOs, witness psychology, the history and history of ideas about anomalous aerial phenomena and “aliens,” folklore of the supernatural, and cultural/historical representations of anomalous experience.
Prof. Charles F. Emmons
Charles Emmons has an MA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is professor of Sociology at Gettysburg College. His research is mainly in the area of the sociology/anthropology of science, religion and the paranormal. His latest book, coauthored by his wife, Penelope Emmons, is Science and Spirit: Exploring the Limits of Consciousness (2012). They also collaborated onGuided by Spirit: A Journey into the Mind of the Medium (2003). Other publications by Charlie include Chinese Ghosts and ESP: A Study of Paranormal Beliefs and Experiences (1982), Hong Kong Prepares for 1997 (1987) and At the Threshold: UFOs, Science and the New Age (1997). He also appears in the TV documentaries “Ghosts of Gettysburg.” He is active in Exploring the Extraordinary, is an honorary member of the Board of Reviewers of the journal Paranthropology, and a member of The Society for Scientific Exploration. Charlie has also made three documentary DVDs in the area of science and spirituality: Drum Dreams (Drum Circles in North America), Roll Your Own Religion (New Spirituality in North America), and Science and Spirit(s).
Prof. David J. Hufford
David Hufford, Ph.D., is Senior Fellow in Spirituality at the Samueli Institute in Alexandria, Virginia. In 2007, after 33 years on the faculty of Penn State College of Medicine, Hufford retired from his position as University Professor and Chair of Medical Humanities, and Professor of Neural & Behavioral Science, and Family & Community Medicine. He is now University Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Psychiatry at Penn State, and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Hufford’s publications have primarily been concerned with spiritual belief and experience, and spirituality and health. His book The Terror That Comes in the Night, which reports his research on beliefs about spiritual evil found all over the world and their relationship to sleep paralysis, was recently translated into Japanese and Korean. Hufford is a founding member of the Editorial Boards of several journals including the the new journals Spirituality in Clinical Practice, and Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, and a founding member of the Cancer Advisory Panel on Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Caner Institute (NIH, Bethesda). Hufford’s current research is focused on extraordinary spiritual experiences
Prof. Jeffrey J. Kripal
Jeffrey J. Kripal is a historian of religions by training (Ph.D., University of Chicago). He holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought in the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is the author or co-editor of over fifty essays and ten volumes of technical scholarship, including Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred (2010), Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion (2007), The Serpent’s Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion (2007), Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism (2001), and Kali’s Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna (1995), all published by the University of Chicago Press. His areas of interest include the comparative erotics of mystical literature, the history of American metaphysical religion, the history of Western esotericism, particularly as this complex has encountered and incorporated Asian practices and ideas in the modern period, and, most recently, the interface between the paranormal and American popular culture.
Prof. Stanley Krippner
Stanley Krippner (Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center) is Alan Watts Professor of Psychology, and supervises theses and dissertations on the study of consciousness. He is the co-editor of Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence (American Psychological Association, 2000) and co-author of The Mythic Path (Elite Books, 2006) and Dream Telepathy (Hampton Roads, 2002). In 2002 he received the American Psychological Association's Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology, and in 2003 he received the Ashley Montagu Peace Award. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the International Association for the Study of Dreams (2006) and the Parapsychological Association (1998), and was the 2002 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Hypnosis, granted by the division of psychological hypnosis.
Prof. Tanya M. Luhrmann
Tanya Marie Luhrmann is the Watkins University Professor in the Stanford Anthropology Department. Her books include Persuasions of the Witch’s Craft, (Harvard, 1989); The Good Parsi (Harvard 1996); Of Two Minds (Knopf 2000) and When God Talks Back (Knopf 2012). She trained at the University of Cambridge (Ph.D 1986), and taught for many years at the University of California San Diego. Prior to coming to Stanford she was the Max Palevsky Professor and a director of the Clinical Ethnography project in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and received a Guggenheim award in 2007. In general, her work focuses on the way that objects without material presence come to seem real to people, and the way that ideas about the mind affect mental experience. These days she is comparing the way people experience God (on the one hand) and auditory psychotic voices (on the other) in San Mateo, Accra and Chennai, and has ambitions of comparing odd experience around the world.
Prof. Antonia Mills
Antonia Mills has been teaching First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia since 1994. She did her PhD in Cultural Anthropology and Child Development at Harvard University on the Prophet Dance of the Beaver Indians and Related Movements among North American Indians (1982). Reincarnation was one of the tenants of their spiritual philosophy noted therein, and after meeting Ian Stevenson in 1984 she began documenting cases in his careful manner, first among the Beaver and Gitxsan First Nations, and then among the Witsuwit’en with whom she worked for their important Delgamuukw Land Claims Court Case. At Stevenson’s request she also studied cases of reincarnation in India, prior to and while working at the Stevenson’s Division of Personality Studies at UVA (1988-94). She is the author of Eagle Down Is Our Law: Witsuwit’en Law, Feasts and Land Claims (UBC Press 1994); Amerindian Rebirth: Reincarnation Belief among North American Indians and Inuit (U of Toronto Press 1994); “Hang Onto These Words”: Johnny David’s Delagmuukw Testimony (U of Toronto Press 2006) and she has a multi-year (now extended) Aboriginal Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) research grant called “Reincarnation as Revitalization.” She is currently working on the book “That’s MY Chair”: Rebirth Experience of the Gitxsan and Witsuwit’en.
Dr. Gregory Shushan
Gregory Shushan is a Research Fellow at the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford (supported by a grant from the Perrott-Warrick Fund, Trinity College, Cambridge). He is researching comparative afterlife beliefs in relation to shamanic and near-death experiences in indigenous religions worldwide. The project follows on from his book Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism, and Near-Death Experience (nominated for the 2009 Grawemeyer Award). Gregory received his PhD in Religious Studies from University of Wales Lampeter, both his MA in Research Methods for the Humanities and his BA in Egyptian Archaeology from University College London, and his Diploma in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology from Birkbeck College, University of London. In addition to the issue of the interface of culture, cognition, and ‘religious’ experiences (and attendant implications for relativist/postmodernist extremism), his research interests include concepts of polytheism, syncretism, pluralism, and universalism in cross-cultural contexts.
Prof. Paul Stoller
Paul Stoller is Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University. He has been conducting anthropological research for more than 30 years in West Africa and New York City. The author of 11 books (ethnographies, scholarly essays, a biography, three memoirs and two novels), Stoller’s most recent work is The Power of the Between (2008). In 2002, the American Anthropological Association named him the recipient of the Robert B Textor Award for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology. During the past three years, Stoller has blogged regularly on culture, politics, media and education for The Huffington Post. In April 2013 The Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography awarded him Anders Retzius Gold Medal for his scientific contributions to anthropology. His new book, Yaya’s Story: The Quest for Wellbeing in the World will appear in 2014.
Prof. Ann Taves
Ann Taves is a historian of Christianity and American religion by training (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1983) and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Since the late eighties, her research has focused on how people, both historical and contemporary, interpret unusual, seemingly involuntary experiences in which their usual sense of self is disrupted by anomalous perceptions or sensations. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Fits, Trances, and Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton, 1999), winner of the 2000 Association of American Publishers Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Philosophy and Religion, and Religious Experience Reconsidered: A Building Block Approach to the Study of Religion and Other Special Things (Princeton, 2009), winner of the 2010 SSSR Distinguished Book Award. She held a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford (2008-09), served as president of the American Academy of Religion (2010), and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011). She is currently working on a book entitled Revelatory Events: Unusual Experiences and New Visionary Movements.