The Night Side of Nature

Environmental Meanings of the Modern Paranormal

Authors

  • Timothy Grieve-Carlson Rice University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.41113

Keywords:

Paranormal, cosmotheism, environment, nature, ecology, naturphilosophie, esotericism, Frederic W.H. Myers, Franz Anton Mesmer, Friedrich W.J. Schelling

Abstract

The rise of the category of the paranormal in scholarship during the last decade calls for a historical genealogy of the term, if scholars are to continue to use it as both an analytic frame and an object of study. Such a genealogy shows that the paranormal derives from early modern and Renaissance environmental and cosmotheist beliefs and philosophies. Modern discourses of the paranormal are deeply coded forms of Renaissance cosmotheism and organicism, a coding accomplished through major intellectual stances on the category of ‘nature’ by lgures like Franz Mesmer, Friedrich W.J. Schelling, and Frederic W.H. Myers. The modern paranormal is an organic and ecological intellectual category of uncanny interrelation between subject and environment, and tracing its historical development demonstrates how organic environmental philosophies were shaped during and after the Enlightenment.

Author Biography

Timothy Grieve-Carlson , Rice University

Timothy Grieve-Carlson is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Religion at Rice University. 

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Published

2021-08-06

How to Cite

Grieve-Carlson , T. . (2021). The Night Side of Nature: Environmental Meanings of the Modern Paranormal. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 15(2), 229–254. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.41113

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