10/4: Changed in a Flash: How One Woman Was Struck by Lightning, Talked to God, and Came Back to Dream the Future

Jeffrey J. Kripal
J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion, Rice University
Thursday, October 4th, 7:00 pm
Sussman Theater, Olmstead Center


Jeffrey J. Kripal holds the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University and the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research at the Esalen Institute. He is the author of numerous books, including his most recent Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions (Chicago, 2017). He specializes in the comparative study and analysis of extreme religious states from the ancient world to today.

In this lecture, Prof. Kripal will describe the near-death experience of Elizabeth Krohn, with whom he has co-written a recent book. He will then use Elizabeth’s visionary narrative and precognitive dreams to rethink how such anomalous events are treated, or not treated, in the study of religion and what they might still mean for rethinking the limits of the human. 


(Photo Credit Michael Spadafina for MAX Video Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved)


Video of Lecture



10/7 Meet My Religious Neighbor: Iowa Sikh Association

Please join us for our next Meet My Religious Neighbor open house, which is to be hosted by the Iowa Sikh Association on 1115 Walnut Street in West Des Moines. For this “open house,” we will be joining the Sikh community for its regularly scheduled Sunday workshop service. Approximately one hour of hymns (kirtan) will be followed by a short prayer (aardas), an exposition of the passage of the day (hookah nama), and the serving of the “holy pudding” (karah prashad). Following the service, everyone is invited to join the congregation for langar — a free, vegetarian meal.


Guest should dress modestly, avoid pointing outstretched legs at the holy book and altar, and also avoid turning their back to the holy book and altar (at least in close proximity to it). Shoes must be removed to enter the sanctuary. Simple kerchiefs (which are provided) must be worn by men and women.


Meet My Religious Neighbor is a monthly open-house series. Each open house allows the public the opportunity to tour a sacred space, learn how religion is practiced in it, and meet the congregation who worships there.