The Serpent’s Gift: an interview with Jeffrey J. Kripal
Jeffrey John Kripal, Ph.D., is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought (and Chairman of the Department of Religious Studies) at Rice University in Houston, Texas. His work includes the study of comparative erotics and ethics in mystical literature, American countercultural translations of Asian religions, and the history of Western esotericism from gnosticism to New Age religions. He is also one of the leading scholars at the Esalen Institute’s Center for Theory and Research. He is the author – among other books – of: “The Serpent’s Gift: Gnostic Reflections on the Study of Religion”; “Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion”; “Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred”; and his latest book “Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal” (2011).
Jeffrey speaks with Joanna about the relationship between sexuality and mystical states – a western taboo, the “paranormal” as symbolic of emerging realities, “authorization:” taking responsibility for our cultural stories; his transpersonal life-changing experience in Calcutta; the essence of the Gnostic message; and mystics and superheroes…