Paranormal Pub: How Scholars Study & Teach Paranormal Topics

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Paranormal Pub: How Scholars Study & Teach Paranormal Topics
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McMenamins UFO Festival says
Until recently, many scholars dismissed paranormal topics as trivial or the products of delusions. Over the past twenty years, however, that has changed. Many scholars now see paranormal experiences and communities as important phenomena that need to be explored just as carefully and seriously as more traditional religious expressions such as denominations and churches. This talk will highlight how scholars today study and teach about paranormal topics. It will focus on encounters with UFOs and aliens.

First, we will explore some of the historical and cultural reasons that scholars in the past have dismissed paranormal topics as unimportant, including the influence of authoritative scientific and religious worldviews. Then we will delve into the various, interdisciplinary approaches that scholars use to understand encounters with UFOs and aliens. These approaches include the historical, cultural, folkloric, psychological, sociological, and anthropological. Each approach reveals different aspects of these encounters and provokes students to think carefully about how they understand paranormal encounters, but also how they understand the boundaries and definitions of religions and culture.

About the Speaker: Susanna Morrill teaches in the Religious Studies Department at Lewis & Clark College. Her research and teaching focus on American religious history with particular focus on gender, Mormonism, and Northwest religions.
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By: McMenamins UFO Festival

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