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Dr. Christopher Laursen is a scholar who studies how religions, sciences, and the environment intersect, especially in the twentieth century through to the present day in North America and Europe. He focuses on experiences that people report which are extraordinary or anomalous. You can learn more about his research on the About page.
Starting in Fall 2017, he will be an instructor at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. He holds a PhD in History from the University of British Columbia (2016), and an MA in History from the University of Guelph (2009).
His current project, Mischievous Forces, looks at how people experienced the poltergeist phenomenon and how researchers have reimagined it as psychophysical.
He is currently writing a chapter about how people’s lives are imaginatively transformed through online communities.
His work has appeared in Jeffrey J. Kripal’s Super Religion (2016), Jack Hunter’s Damned Facts (2016), and the magazine Fortean Times. Click on to learn more about him. Please see Projects and Publications for his current work, Teaching for his courses, Talks for public presentations, and Contact to get in touch with him.
I have just added a Resources page for people who are distressed or curious about extraordinary, spiritual, and paranormal type experiences. I have some basic information there now, and will be building this on an ongoing basis with updates posted here.
Next scheduled public talk will be on Frontier Sciences in Wilmington, North Carolina in October. Stay tuned for details.
My latest publication is “The Poltergeist at the Intersection of the Spirit and the Material: Some Historical and Contemporary Observations” in Jeffrey J. Kripal’s edited volume Super Religion. In it, I provide background on religious ideas about the poltergeist in relation to material and affective experiences.
I also have recently published an essay,”The Transmediumizers,” co-written with the speculative fiction writer Eden S. French. It appears in Damned Facts: Fortean Essays on Religion, Folklore, and the Paranormal, edited by the anthropologist Jack Hunter, founder of the journal Paranthropology, and featuring a preface by the historian of religions Jeffrey J. Kripal. Our essay argues that we have clearly entered what the American writer Charles Fort referred to as “Intermediatism,” an era in which humans truly are able to become transhumans – beyond human.