When You Meet the Buddha in the Road, Bite Him

We have a best-selling series of romance novels about vampires written by a Mormon.

But we also have a popular, if not so huge, series of romance novels about people in Amish communities, by a writer who grew up around Amish people but is not herself Amish.

Is this a great country or not? That’s one way to learn about religion. Or you can wait for the English translation of Saint Young Men. Jesus and the Buddha, roommates! The “odd couple” formula works in manga too, evidently.

But wait, you say. Vampires? Religion? Consider that NYU Press has published Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture.

Jeffrey Kripal, whose book Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred I am just starting to read, not surprisingly tells the New York Times that scholars of religion should take “the paranormal” seriously.

Is that the “paranormal” as opposed to the “supernatural”?

According to Dr. Kripal, [four famous paranormal researchers'] omission [from scholarly investigation]  is evidence of a persistent bias among religion scholars, happy to consider the inexplicable, like miracles, as long as they fit a familiar narrative, like Judaism or Christianity.

Meanwhile, someone needs to write a novel: Ghost-hunting single Amish girl falls in love with a vampire and discovered Buddhism. Quick!


One Comment

  1. Pitch313 says:

    Maybe the academic consideration of paranormal topics is better conducted by departments other than those of religion. History, physics, social sciences, communication, marketing, psychology, electrical engineering, computer science, neuroscience, folklore, linguitics, forensics, law, art, or design–for a few examples.

    Which is just to suggest that parnormal topics are not necessaruily religious in character, even when a variety of religious topics may involve elements of the paranormal.

    Yes, I realize that some folks insist that our ancestors misapprehended colonizing extraterrestrials for deities and angels and demons. So the beings worshipped by some ancient religions are really UFO-nauts. So religious studies are actually all about flying saucers.