Secret Body by Jeffrey J. Kripal
Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions

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Kripal is heterosexual, but he is a straight guy with a keen eye for the homoerotic subtext of scripture, whether those sacred texts are the writings of Hindu saints and Christian apostles.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Over the course of his twenty-five-year career, Jeffrey J. Kripal’s study of religion has had two major areas of focus: the erotic expression of mystical experience and the rise of the paranormal in American culture. This book brings these two halves together in surprising ways through a blend of memoir, manifesto, and anthology, drawing new connections between these two realms of human experience and revealing Kripal’s body of work to be a dynamic whole that has the potential to renew and reshape the study of religion.
            Kripal tells his story, biographically, historically and politically contextualizing each of the six books of his Chicago corpus, from Kali’s Child to Mutants and Mystics, all the while answering his censors and critics and exploring new implications of his thought. In the process, he begins to sketch out a speculative “new comparativism” in twenty theses. The result is a new vision for the study of religion, one that takes in the best of the past, engages with outside critiques from the sciences and the humanities, and begins to blaze a new positive path forward. A major work decades in the making, Secret Body will become a landmark in the study of religion.
 
 

About Jeffrey J. 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 November 14, 2017 by University of Chicago Press. 448 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Don Lattin on Nov 21 2017

Kripal is heterosexual, but he is a straight guy with a keen eye for the homoerotic subtext of scripture, whether those sacred texts are the writings of Hindu saints and Christian apostles.

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