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!