Marty Laubach

Marty Laubach is the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Marshall University who studies the sociological processes of 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 is 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 ELF Fests. He has published articles on a number of issues relevant to American Neo-Paganism including how Neo-Pagans "do" and use experiences of psychism.

Spirits: Ghosts, the God Bureaucracy, and the Wild Fauna of the Spirit World

This workshop will offer an update on my current research project that examines Black Moon's archives (unpublished rituals and magickal journals, published newsletters, etc. from late 1970s-1990s) for conceptions of spirits. My research team is developing psychological schemas for encounters with the spirit world, and these three categories stand out. I will present preliminary findings and open discussion for comments and collect stories.

The Methods of Science?

We like to think that spiritual experiences are more than a flight of fantasy and can tell us something about ourselves and even the world we live in. Sometimes the experience is so intense that we look for "real world" validation, but when we do, we are either told that we are delusional or what we hear leaves us with a taste of pseudoscience and psychobabble. This workshop will touch on this idea of validation and the challenge of Crowley's credo "the method of science, the aim of religion," and will discuss what science can and can't tell us about spiritual experiences.

















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