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>    Can Science See Spirits?

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Jack Hunter
>   Can Science See Spirits?

Jack Hunter
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol


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Abstract:


Can science see spirits? Anthropologist Jack Hunter examines the few attempts that havebeen made at neurophysiological studies of spirit mediums.

Spirit mediumship is a complex, near universal phenomenon (see Talking With the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds for a cross-cultural snapshot of just a few of the world’s mediumship traditions), which, despite over 130 years of investigation from psychical research and the social sciences more generally, continues to evade scholarly attempts to pin it down and neatly explain it.

Countless attempts have been made, however, from the debunkers who suggest that all mediumship is a mixture of fraud and delusion, to the social anthropologists who argue that spirit mediumship is a purely social phenomenon, performing specific social functions, and certain parapsychologists who suggest that spirit mediumship offers proof of survival after death. And yet, none of the theories that have been put forward quite seem able to offer a fully satisfying explanation for what is going on.

I. Neuroimaging Studies

Spirit mediumship is a complex, near universal phenomenon (see Talking With the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds for a cross-cultural snapshot of just a few of the world's mediumship traditions), which, despite over 130 years of investigation from psychical research and the social sciences more generally, continues to evade scholarly attempts to pin it down and neatly explain it. Countless attempts have been made, however, from the debunkers who suggest that all mediumship is a mixture of fraud and delusion, to the social anthropologists who argue that spirit mediumship is a purely social phenomenon, performing specific social functions, and certain parapsychologists who suggest that spirit mediumship offers proof of survival after death. And yet, none of the theories that have been put forward quite seem able to offer a fully satisfying explanation for what is going on.

In this series of short articles I would like to highlight some of the reasons why spirit mediumship is such a difficult phenomenon to get a grip on through outlining some of the research that has been conducted, and pointing out gaps in our understanding of the underlying processes. This first article will present an overview of the, really rather sparse, neuroimaging data on spirit mediumship, and will briefly discuss what it does and doesn't tell us about the phenomenon.


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Fonte: Published on The Daily Grail (http://dailygrail.com) - http://dailygrail.com/Guest-Articles/2014/5/Can-Science-See-Spirits
- https://www.academia.edu/9939012/Can_Science_See_Spirits_Spirit_Mediumship_A_Complex_Phenomenon_

 

Leiam de Jack Hunter:

>   Anthropology & the Supernatural: From Spirits to Consciousness
>   Beyond Castaneda: A Brief History of Psychedelics in Anthropology
>   "Between Realness and Unrealness": Anthropology, Parapsychology and the Ontology of Non-Ordinary Realities
>   Can Science See Spirits?
>   Contemporary Physical Mediumship: Is it Part of a Continuous Tradition?
>   Definitions, Origins, Functions and Experiences: Trends in the Anthropology of the Supernatural from Tylor to Turner
>   Music and Altered States of Consciousness in Shamanism and Spirit Possession: An Overview of the Literature
>   Numinous Conversations: Performance and the Manifestation of Spirits in Spirit Possession Practices
>   "Spirits are the Problem": Anthropology and Conceptualising Spiritual Beings
>   Talking With the Spirits: Anthropology and Interpreting Spirit Communicator

Leiam de Jack Hunter; Joey M. Caswell, Lucas W.E. Tessaro :
>   Phenomenological Convergence between Major Paradigms of Classic Parapsychology and Cross-Cultural Practices: An Exploration of Paranthropology

 



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