Tuesday, April 26, 2011

quick hit: Jeffrey Kripal, historian and "oddball"

The day after quality checking the 300-odd footnotes in my thesis (I finished shortly before midnight last night), this story about one of the historians of religion I cited comes across my feeds from the great religion blog Killing the Buddha. Unsolicited advice: if you're not following KtB, do so!

In his post, Nathan Schneider writes:
After months of delays and excuses, I finally got around to doing an interview with Jeffrey Kripal, a religion professor at Rice University. He’s one of the great oddballs in the study of religion today, about whom grad students whisper to each other, “It’s like he actually believes in this stuff!” More or less. And in the course of dismaying colleagues with his conclusions, he picks the kinds of subjects that other scholars of religion today need to be studying, but for one reason or another don’t.
The two works by Kripal (one written, one edited) I cited in my thesis have to do with the Esalen retreat center in Big Sur, California, where a number of key thinkers in the human potential movement were regularly in residence during the 1960s and 70s.

Plus ... does citing an oddball mean you get to be one of the oddballs? Wahey!

It's wonderful (and I mean this non-ironically) how the end of a project like this just brings you more stuff to read and research!