MAY 1-8, 2011



Saturday, MAY 7, 2011   afternoon  2-6


Altering consciousness 1: A multidisciplinary perspective


Increasingly the need to integrate altered states of consciousness, and the procedures to induce them, into the study of consciousness at large has become evident. This workshop is organized in conjunction with the launching of an international, multidisciplinary encyclopedia on altering consciousness including contributions from history, the humanities, the arts, psychological and biological perspectives. In this workshop we will concentrate on discussing a framework to consider and study altered states, their central importance for the mystery cults of Greece, Social and Cultural Variations,  individual differences in the propensity to experience altered states, and their role in mystical experiences as one of the pillars of religion.





ETZEL CARDEÑA, holds the Thorsen Chair of Psychology at Lund University in Sweden. His empirical and theoretical work has received awards from Division 30 of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and the University of Texas. His more than 200 publications include the book Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Exploring the Scientific Evidence, and the forthcoming 2 volume Altering Consciousness


CHARLES WHITEHEAD is an anthropological neuroscientist interested in bridging the conceptual gulf dividing biological from social anthropology, which he sees as related to the apparent conflict between science and spirituality. Following twenty years as Creative Director of an advertising agency, he gained his MSc in Social Anthropology at University College London, followed by a PhD in anthropology and neuroscience in 2003. He has conducted research on role-play and pretend play at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, has edited two volumes on Social Approaches to Consciousness, and has published extensively on neuroscience, anthropology, and consciousness.


ANTOON GEELS, Professor, Theology, Lund University, Sweden - is professor in the history and psychology of religion. His primary area of research is the comparative psychological study of mystical experience and mystical techniques. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Subud and the Javanese Mystical Tradition (1997), Förvandlande ögonblick. Religiösa visioner i dagens Sverige (Transforming Moments. Religious Visions in Contemporary Sweden, 2001), and recently Medvetandets stilla grund. Mystik och spiritualitet I världens religioner (The Still Ground of Consciousness. Mysticism and Spirituality in the Religions of the World, 2008).


YULIA USTINOVA   is Associate Professor in the Department of General History, Ben-Gurion University of Negev. Her research focuses on ancient Greek religion and its role within the society. She is the author of Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind. Descending Underground in the Search for Ultimate Truth (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom: Celestial Aphrodite and the Most High God (Brill, 1999).


PEHR GRANQVIST is an associate professor at the Psychology Department, Stockholm University, Sweden. He is a
developmental psychologist who has specialized in attachment theory and research, in particular how attachment processes are involved in religion and spirituality. As part of this topic, he has focused on the role played by altered states of consciousness as a mediator between certain aspects of attachment and spirituality.


Half-Day Workshops    $76student; $96 standard              

The workshops are open to the public; registration required