Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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Posts Tagged ‘paranormal


Jack Hunter who established “Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal” in July 2010 as a means to promote social-scientific approaches to paranormal beliefs, experiences and phenomena.


The Paranthropology Second Anniversary Anthology is now available to order as a hardback book:

We are living in a complicated period in relation to our understanding of ‘extraordinary’ phenomena. Naive materialist approaches are more assertive than ever, in anthropology and in the world more generally. At the same time, the taboos against admitting to the reality of the paranormal are weakening. There is a growing body of writing which takes the paranormal and extraordinary seriously, while bringing to it the same academic standards that any other subject matter would require. This is a valuable and important development, and it helps open the way to new modes of understanding in the sciences and social sciences that will not reject scientific rationality, but expand that rationality so as to include more of the world of human experience. The articles in this Paranthropology reader provide important clues and suggestions, along with rigorous argument, to help us in exploring what is likely to be a major area of anthropological engagement in coming years.

Dr. Geoffrey Samuel, Cardiff University.






 CALL FOR PAPERS: Since its inception in 2007, members of Exploring the Extraordinary have organised two very successful academic conferences that have brought together researchers from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds. The purpose of these events has been to encourage a wider dissemination of knowledge and research, and an interdisciplinary discussion of extraordinary phenomena and experience. By ‘extraordinary’ we refer to phenomena and experiences that are considered to be beyond the mundane, referring to those that have been called supernatural, paranormal, mystical, transcendent, exceptional, spiritual, magical and/or religious, as well as the relevance of such for human culture.

 Keynote Speakers:

 Prof Charles Emmons

Dr Serena Roney-Dougal

 We are delighted to release a call for papers for our third conference, and would like to invite presentation or poster submission on topics related to the above. Please submit a 300-500 word paper abstract, or poster proposal to:

 Dr Madeleine Castro and Dr Hannah Gilbert (

by the 4th April 2011.

Papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length and intended for an interdisciplinary audience. Please include contact information and a brief biographical note.

 Additionally, we would like to invite contributions to an exhibition that will also be held during the conference. The theme of the exhibition will be organised around two broad themes: ‘Nature, twilight and the night’ and ‘Dimensions of Spirit’. We would like to invite submissions of any of the following: artwork; photography; research images; research footage, moving images or short films (of no more than ten minutes in length and with copyright clearance if necessary). Please feel free to get in touch to discuss any ideas beforehand. The deadline for exhibition submissions is also 4th April, 2011.

Please visit for more information (and to see

past conference schedules), or email



2nd Conference
University of York, UK
Friday, 24th September – Saturday 25th September, 2010


We are delighted to announce a call for papers for our second Exploring the Extraordinary network conference. We would like to invite people to submit papers based on contemporary studies of extraordinary experiences. Some examples of topics may be:

Individual accounts of extraordinary experiences
Health, well being and extraordinary experiences
Belief systems that incorporate extraordinary experiences
Theoretical discussions of extraordinary experiences, and/or the potential for interdisciplinary perspectives
Developing suitable methodologies to research extraordinary experiences

This conference will be hosted by the Anomalous Experiences Research Unit (, members of which established Exploring the Extraordinary in 2007 at the University of York, with the aim of creating a supportive researcher network that would encourage interdisciplinary links and discussions regarding the study of extraordinary experiences. By ‘extraordinary’ we refer to experiences that are considered by experients to be beyond the mundane, having significant spiritual or life changing connotations. We include experiences that have been called supernatural, paranormal, mystical, transcendental, exceptional, spiritual, and religious, as well as the belief systems such experiences may connect to.

Papers should be intended for an interdisciplinary audience.

Please submit a 300-500 word abstract to Dr Hannah Gilbert ( by the 2nd April 2010. Papers should ideally be 20 minutes in length. Please include contact information and a brief biographical note. Accepted papers will be decided upon by a committee, and a decision will be made within one week of the closing date.

Accepted papers will also be invited to submit a full paper for possible publication in a special issue of the Journal for the Society for Psychical Research, which will be guest edited by Dr Madeleine Castro and Dr Hannah Gilbert. If you would like to be considered for inclusion in the special issue of the JSPR then submit a full paper of no more than 6,000 words in APA format (for guidance see ) including an abstract of 300-500 words, by no later than the 28th May. If you wish to be considered for the conference but not the JSPR special issue then submit just an abstract (no later than the 2nd April) for your presentation. Please note all papers will be subject to anonymous peer review following submission, and acceptance for the conference will not guarantee acceptance for publication.


2nd April 2010: Deadline for abstract submissions
28th May 2010: Deadline for paper submissions
24th -25th September 2010: Exploring the Extraordinary conference

Inquiries can be sent to
Dr Hannah Gilbert,
Anomalous Experiences Research Unit,
University of York,
Heslington, York,
YO10 5DD


The CAMBRIDGE CENTRE for the study of WESTERN ESOTERICISM is independent of any academic or esoteric communities, the directors share an interest in the need for a wider dialogue between scholars and practitioners in the field of Western Esotericism and in the establishment of a secular space in which an interdisciplinary network can thrive.. From 2009 CCWE has operated within Lighthouse editions Limited, a small publishing company Directors: Dr Sophia Wellbeloved, Jeremy Cranswick – see


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