Jeffrey J. Kripal
The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge
CUTTING-EDGE ADDITION IN POPULAR GENRE: From Eben Alexander's Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife to Barbara Ehrenreich's Living with a Wild God, first-person accounts of personal epiphany have captivated readers. The Flip is the first to compare these accounts, and the book's detailing of scientists' and other secularists' experiences of epiphany is so electrifying that "The Flip" could become a phrase as common as "The Tipping Point."
CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE: "Spiritual but not religious" is America's fastest-growing faith. This concept was pioneered by the Esalen Institute, where the author has served as associate director for over a decade. The Flip explores how this seismic shift toward spirituality may bring about a new systematic vision of mind, with far-reaching political, ethical, and educational implications.
PROVOCATIVE SUBJECT: This book grew out of Kripal's highly debated cover story in the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Visions of the Impossible: how 'fantastic' stories unlock the nature of consciousness." Since that article appeared, his arguments have produced a flood of related think pieces about science and religion and the privileging of the STEM fields and the marginalization of the humanities in higher education, as well as the general anti-intellectualism of American political discourse and conversation. Kripal's bold and thoroughly researched arguments have a precedent of controversy (his first book, Kali's Child, incited both praise and religious backlash), and The Flip will also spark lively discussions.
MAJOR SCHOLAR WRITES FOR LAY READERSHIP: Jeffrey J. Kripal is a prominent scholar of religion who, among many other projects, has served as editor-in-chief of a ten-volume Macmillan series on the study of religion; co-authored a book on science fiction, comic book superheroes, and the paranormal; and written the definitive history of the Esalen Institute. While his books-which have received the American Academy of Religion's History of Religions Prize and two Choice "Outstanding Academic Title" citations-have been widely acclaimed for their engaging style, they have all been published by academic presses for an academic market. The Flip promises to introduce his gift for storytelling and thought-provoking narratives to an entirely new audience.
Format/pages: paperback / 240 pages
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press