Mutants And Mystics by Jeffrey. Kripal
Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, And The Paranormal.

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In many ways, twentieth-century America was the land of superheroes and science fiction. From Superman and Batman to the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, these pop-culture juggernauts, with their "powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men," thrilled readers and audiences—and simultaneously embodied a host of our dreams and fears about modern life and the onrushing future.

But that's just scratching the surface, says Jeffrey Kripal. In Mutants and Mystics, Kripal offers a brilliantly insightful account of how comic book heroes have helped their creators and fans alike explore and express a wealth of paranormal experiences ignored by mainstream science. Delving deeply into the work of major figures in the field—from Jack Kirby’s cosmic superhero sagas and Philip K. Dick’s futuristic head-trips to Alan Moore’s sex magic and Whitley Strieber’s communion with visitors—Kripal shows how creators turned to science fiction to convey the reality of the inexplicable and the paranormal they experienced in their lives. Expanded consciousness found its language in the metaphors of sci-fi—incredible powers, unprecedented mutations, time-loops and vast intergalactic intelligences—and the deeper influences of mythology and religion that these in turn drew from; the wildly creative work that followed caught the imaginations of millions. Moving deftly from Cold War science and Fredric Wertham's anticomics crusade to gnostic revelation and alien abduction, Kripal spins out a hidden history of American culture, rich with mythical themes and shot through with an awareness that there are other realities far beyond our everyday understanding.

A bravura performance, beautifully illustrated in full color throughout and brimming over with incredible personal stories, Mutants and Mystics is that rarest of things: a book that is guaranteed to broaden—and maybe even blow—your mind.

About Jeffrey. Kripal

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Jeffrey Kripal is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University. He is the author of six books, including Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion and Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred.
Published September 30, 2011 by University of Chicago Press. 392 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Comics & Graphic Novels. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mutants And Mystics


What makes Krishna so interesting and so relevant for our purposes here are the very explicit ways he understood these occult energies as the secret force of evolution itself…For Krishna, at least, the kundalini was "the evolutionary energy in man" or the secret "mechanism of evolution...Indeed, ...

Oct 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Mutants And Mystics: Science ...


3-5) the self-professed possessed professor, Jeffrey Kripal provided some interesting information about Ghost Busters star actor Dan Aykroyd.

Sep 25 2013 | Read Full Review of Mutants And Mystics: Science ...


One thing that set Jeffrey Kripal upon his journey of, quite rightly, correlating comic books (and other forms of science “fiction”) with the paranormal is retold by him as follows (note that he references Michael Murphy who is the co-founder of the Esalen Institute and a key figure in the Human ...

Jan 11 2013 | Read Full Review of Mutants And Mystics: Science ...

Open Letters Monthly

Books like Mutants & Mystics are inherently insulting, because their premise belies their provenance: comics might be the alleged subject, but c’mon, comics themselves are just too trivial, too insubstantial, to merit careful or consistent study – instead, comics must be subjected to their own al...

Apr 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Mutants And Mystics: Science ...

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