Understanding the Unknown


Understanding the Unknown


Edited by Laura Thursby

Format: eBook (PDF)

Year: 2016

This volume takes on the impossible project of speaking about the unspeakable and probing into the mysteries of the supernatural.

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148 mm x 210 mm

The supernatural – that which exists beyond the scope of science or the laws of nature – has long captivated our attention. The supernatural upsets our understandings of the rational and forces upon us a recognition that there exists something more, something beyond the veil that we cannot quite grasp. A critical reflection of this category raises some very serious questions for interdisciplinary research, which are explored throughout this volume: How do experiences of the supernatural function temporally and cross-culturally?  How have ideas about the supernatural influenced well-known historical figures? How has the supernatural been used in fiction as a literary or narrative device? What happens to the supernatural in the supposedly rational and disenchanted modern experience? How does it shape the beliefs and practices of actual people? And why is it important to devote energy to its study if it remains a category forever beyond our realm of comprehension?

Laura Thursby

Hearing the Dead: Supernatural Presence in the World of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (PPN) in Reference to the Balikligöl Statue
Alistair Coombs

Making the Secular Sacred, or the Sacred Secular…? Other-Worldly Sacrum in This-Worldly Philosophy of Confucius
Paweł Zygadło

Gothic Meets Neorealism: Trauma, Ghosts and Broken Community in Tommaso Landolfi’s An Autumn Story
Julia Brühne

The Solipsist as Satanist: A Philosophical Reading of Chesterton’s ‘The Crime of Gabriel Gale’
Regan Lance Reitsma

Asemic Occultism: The Magical System of Austin Spare’s Sigils
Riikka Ala-Hakula

Hidden in Plain Sight: Open-Source Occultism in the Age of Information
Cavan McLaughlin

The Trauma of Missing Time in Alien Abduction
Laura Thursby

Paranormal/Supernatural Experiences and Loss
Camilla Pagani

Laura Thursby is an (ABD) doctoral candidate in the Cultural Studies department at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Her current research examines the emergence of the extraterrestrial in American culture and considers the narrative dimensions and performative aspects of tales of alien contact.