[UCP Books]: Mutants and Mystics

“An invigorating read, and a cross-cultural bonanza you never saw coming. Boldly embracing the enigmatic Id, Jeffrey Kripal has gathered the silver threads of grand mythologies, sacred texts, and mystical creeds, binding them to the visionary Super-Ego at the heart of modern literature’s bastard sons—comic books and science fiction.”

Barry Windsor-Smith


Mutants and Mystics
Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal
Jeffrey J. Kripal

Publication Date: November 15, 2011 $29.00 • £18.50
International publication date: December 5, 2011 978-0-226-45383-5 (cloth)
“For most of the history of popular culture, the creators and the academics—the storytellers and the scholars—have sat in different rooms, in different houses, virtually on different worlds, having virtually no contact with each other. Even when the professors began to discover the secret, inner meanings and contexts of B-movies and comic books and science-fiction pulps, there was little contact between the classroom and the creators.  Now, however, Jeffrey J. Kripal has come along—both analyst and aficionado, examiner and enthusiast. He bridges the gap between spirituality and its sometimes seedy outcroppings in pop culture, and forges—or rather, revealsa synthesis that was really there all along, if so many guys with PhD’s hadn't had a vested interest in not recognizing it. More power to him, I say! Or rather—more super-power!”
Roy Thomas, writer of The Uncanny X-Men and more
Mutants and Mystics chronicles the emergence of a complex and startlingly dangerous energy in our world. Because we don't know what it is, we identify it as paranormal. But perhaps what it should really be called is ‘abnormally powerful,’ for, as Jeff Kripal reveals with satisfying skill in this book, it has come to define the very essence of the popular imagination. Instead of fairies and sylphs and gorgons, our rationalist world is defied by a folklore of superheroes, supervillains, and dangerous strangers, and, as I know all too well, can be shattered by them in some very real ways. Mutants and Mystics is the first book that shines the light of reason and insight into this swarming forest. As a wanderer here, I found the light that poured from these pages as blessed as it is breathtaking.”
Whitley Strieber, author of Communion
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.
Please contact Levi Stahl at (773) 702-0289 or lstahl@press.uchicago.edu for more information.


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