The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity

Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press / Inner Traditions (2016)
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hroughout medieval Christianity, religious works of art emerged to illustrate the teachings of the Bible for the largely illiterate population. What, then, is the significance of the psychoactive mushrooms hiding in plain sight in the artwork and icons of many European and Middle-Eastern churches? Does Christianity have a psychedelic history? Providing stunning visual evidence from their anthropological journey throughout Europe and the Middle East, including visits to Roslyn Chapel and Chartres Cathedral, authors Julie and Jerry Brown document the role of visionary plants in Christianity. They retrace the pioneering research of R. Gordon Wasson, the famous “sacred mushroom seeker,” on psychedelics in ancient Greece and India, and among the present-day reindeer herders of Siberia and the Mazatecs of Mexico. Challenging Wasson’s legacy, the authors reveal his secret relationship with the Vatican that led to Wasson’s refusal to pursue his hallucinogen theory into the hallowed halls of Christianity. Examining the Bible and the Gnostic Gospels, the authors provide scriptural support to show that sacred mushrooms were the inspiration for Jesus’ revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven and that he was initiated into these mystical practices in Egypt during the Missing Years. They contend that the Trees of Knowledge and of Immortality in Eden were sacred mushrooms. Uncovering the role played by visionary plants in the origins of Judeo-Christianity, the authors invite us to rethink what we know about the life of Jesus and to consider a controversial theory that challenges us to explore these sacred pathways to the divine.



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Jerry B. Brown
Florida International University

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Field notes.[author unknown] - 2017 - Hastings Center Report 47 (5):inside front cover-inside front.
The Phenomenology and Potential Religious Import of States of Consciousness Facilitated by Psilocybin.William A. Richards - 2008 - Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie 30 (1):189-199.
Update.[author unknown] - 1981 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 9 (6):29-29.
Foreword.The Editors - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (12):615-615.

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