Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

A Transdisciplinary Look at Paranthropology: An Emerging Field of Exploration

Iona Miller


Paranthropology: Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal collects the best articles from the first two years of Paranthropology journal's publication. It describes a quiet yet relentless revolution going on within the life and social sciences and arts. While physicists, biologists, medical doctors, and psychologists have commented for years on anomalous experience, anthropologists maintained a largely conventional observer attitude within their field. Most avoided the risks of "going native" by suspending professional orientation and experimentally entering a participatory mindset to describe their host cultures from the inside out. If researchers inadvertently experienced anomalous events in the field they were often as reluctant to admit them, for example, as professional pilots are to report UFOs.

Even the most successful and well-respected "parapsychologists" have been reluctant to assume such a title. Perhaps their struggle was viewed as a cautionary tale by anthropologists thrown into the boiling pot of traditional shamanic practices, such as shamanic flight, paradoxical healing, warring sorcerers, and disturbing supernatural occurrences in field work. Such overdue efforts should be heartily welcomed by the transdisciplinary community. Anthropology has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. So does paranthropology, which focuses on the persistence and reproduction of anomalies with correlated myths, ideology, cultural grammar, and social logic.

In the words of its editors, "Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal is a free on-line journal devoted to the promotion of social-scientific approaches to the study of paranormal experiences, beliefs and phenomena in all of their varied guises. The journal aims to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue on issues of the paranormal, so as to move beyond the skeptic vs. advocate impasse which has settled over the current debate, and to open new avenues for inquiry and understanding."

Full Text:


ISSN: 2153-8212