Marty Laubach

Marty Laubach is the chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Marshall University who studies the social processes underlying knowledge, science, and religion - in particular as they intersect in spiritual experiences. He has been a long time friend of ACE and Chameleons, and an active participant in the Neopagan community. He was one of the founders of the Crystal Serpent (a Bloomington, IN ritual Magick group) and the Bloomington CUUPs chapter. He was an elder of the ELF Lore Family from 1985 to 1992 and editor of the Elven Chronicles newsletter, and has co-organized major rituals (with Bete Cabal) at past WinterStar Symposiums and at ELF Fests. His most recent publications include "The Epistemology of Esoteric Culture: Spiritual Claim-Making within the American Neopagan Community," forthcoming in the Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies, and a joint article with Louis Martinie' and Roselinda Clemons, "The Practitioner, the Priest, and the Professor: Perspectives on Self-Initiation in the American Neopagan Community," forthcoming in the Journal for the Academic Study of Magic.

Basics of Psychism

Marty's basic research is on psychism, the essential social psychological phenomenon underlying spiritual experiences. He theorizes psychism to be an encounter with the stream of consciousness raw, which participants in esoteric culture build into encounters with the spirit world and further into religion and spiritualism. This workshop will discuss the theoretical side of psychism, but then build into an experiential workshop on "doing" spiritual experiences.

Trends in American Neopaganism

Marty's most recent work is on researching the developing trends in American Neopaganism. We will discuss some of the history since the 1980s and project into the future, especially as we gain notoriety as the fastest growing religious community in the country. As this is part of his research, he would appreciate experienced and new members to help discuss the future paths and dangers of institutionalization as a "religion."

















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