Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Paranthropology Vol. 6 No. 2 and 'Strange Dimensions: A Paranthropology Anthology' Now Published!

I am pleased to announce the publication of Paranthropology Vol. 6 No. 2! It’s a little bit delayed, owing to a range of factors, but I think you’ll agree it was worth the wait. 

To begin, Jennifer Lyke presents an insight into the cosmological understanding of US mediums based upon phenomenological investigation and analysis.  Then Brian Taylor continues the theme of taking experience seriously with his very personal exploration of ‘Soul Birds’ as part of his wider ‘animic’ reality. Next Brooke Hansen and colleagues explore the paranormal beliefs and experiences of students and staff at Ithaca College and uncover some fascinating and revealing data. This is followed by Elliot Benjamin’s agnostic auto-ethnographic approach to the study of mediumship, in which he describes his own experiences participating in events at a Spiritualist Church. We then have two reviews, one from Jules Evans of the psychedelic conference Breaking Convention, and the other from T. Peter Park of the New Jersey UFO/Paranormal Spring Conference. To finish we have the abstracts from a recent round-table discussion on ‘The Emerging Field of Paranthropology,’ which took place at the 58th Annual Parapsychological Association Conference.  

All links to free downloads of the issue are available by following the link below:

I am also very excited to announce the publication of Strange Dimensions: A Paranthropology Anthology, which celebrates 4 years of the Paranthropology Journal. It features 16 chapters (plus an introduction and a foreword by Joseph Laycock), covering everything from William Burroughs to Crop Circles to dowsing, via alien abductions, consciousness studies, mediumship and surfing. 

If you have enjoyed the journal, or found it useful, over the last 5 years (that’s 20 issues!), please consider buying a copy of the anthology, as it is the very best way to support its continued existence. It is an excellent collection of some of the best articles from the last two years, over 400 pages of anomalous goodness!

Buying directly from Lulu is the best option if you want to support the journal, but purchases via Amazon and other retailers are also good.

"Once again, Jack Hunter takes us down the proverbial rabbit hole, here with the grace, nuance and sheer intelligence of a gifted team of essayists, each working in her or his own way toward new theories of history, consciousness, spirit, the imagination, the parapsychological, and the psychedelic. Another clear sign that there is high hope in high strangeness, and that we are entering a new era of thinking about religion, about mind, about us."

-- Jeffrey J. Kripal, author of Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy Vol. 6 No. 2 and Strange Dimensions!

All the best,

Jack Hunter.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

CFP: Fortean Approaches to the Study of Religion

CFP: Fortean Approaches to the Study of Religion (Deadline for Abstracts June 15th 2015)

Currently seeking abstract submissions for inclusion in the following proposed collection:

Damned Facts: Fortean Approaches to the Study of Religion

Edited by Jack Hunter 
(Doctoral Candidate, Dept. Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Bristol)


Over the course of four intriguing books (The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1925), Lo! (1931), andWild Talents (1932)), Charles Hoy Fort meticulously collected hundreds of accounts of anomalous events documented in scientific journals and newspapers, including such unusual occurrences as fish falling from the sky, poltergeists, unidentified flying objects, levitations, mysterious objects, disappearances, ball lightning, and so on. Throughout all of his works, Fort employed the philosophy of intermediatism: “that nothing is real, but that nothing is unreal: that all phenomena are approximations in one way between realness and unrealness.” Through this rigorously agnostic epistemology Fort was able to explore some exceedingly strange territory, unearthing phenomena (what he called “damned facts”), that mainstream science had rejected outright, and in so doing inspired others to employ a similarly Fortean approach in their own writings. This collection draws together scholars who have taken a Fortean approach to the study of religion, itself a category filled with a wide range of weird and anomalous accounts: from miracles, encounters with supernatural beings, and self-mortification, to stigmata, spirit possession and mystical experience. 

Some possible themes:

Submissions of abstracts on areas related to the following would be greatly appreciated:

  • Fortean approaches to religion.
  • The paranormal in the context of religion and religious studies.
  • Explorations of implications of Fortean/paranormal phenomena for the study of religion
  • Relating Fortean concepts to theory, theology, etc. 
  • Examinations of the relevance of other Fortean writers, e.g. John Keel, John Michell, Colin Wilson, Jacques Vallee,  Robert Anton Wilson, etc. to the study of religion.
  • Intermediatism
  • Extraordinary religious phenomena (stigmata, spirit possession, magic, shamanism, visions, altered states of consciousness etc.)

These are just a few ideas, and I would be more than happy to hear other thoughts or suggestions for possible chapters that would fit within the general theme of the book.

If you have any ideas or questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch, I can be contacted via:

Deadline for Abstract Submissions and Expressions of Interest: June 15th 2015.

The book is currently under consideration by Aporetic Press (

Bio: Jack Hunter is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol. His research takes the form of an ethnographic study of contemporary trance and physical mediumship in Bristol, focusing on themes of personhood, performance, altered states of consciousness and anomalous experience. In 2010 he established Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal, as a means to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue on issues relating to paranormal beliefs, experiences and phenomena. He is the editor of Paranthropology: Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal (2012) and Strange Dimensions: A Paranthropology Anthology (2015, forthcoming), both of which gather some of the best articles from the first four years of the journal. He is the author of Why People Believe in Spirits, Gods and Magic (2012), a beginner's introduction to the anthropology of the supernatural, and co-editor with Dr. David Luke of Talking With the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds (2014).

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Paranthropology Vol. 6 No. 1 - Now Available

I am pleased to announce the publication of Paranthropology Vol. 6 No. 1, available to download from the following site:

This issue features:

The Dragon and Me:
Anthropology and the Paranormal 
- Susan Greenwood 

A Framework of Belief in Paranormal Experiences and its Relation to Positive/Negative Schizotypy - Alejandro Parra

Research Perspectives in Parapsychology and Shamanism - Stanley Krippner 

Capturing Spirituality: A Photo-Elicitation Study With Two British Neo-Pagans - Matt Coward

On the "Types" and Dynamics of Apparitional Hallucinations - S. Alexander Hardison 

W. Paul Reeve & Michael Scott Van Wagenen on the Supernatural World in Mormon History and Folklore - John W. Morehead