CA121 Encountering Mystery w/ Dale Allison

Today I’m speaking with Dr. Dale Allison, historian and author of many books, including The Resurrection of Jesus, The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus, and our subject today, Encountering Mystery: Religious Experience in a Secular Age.
The subtitle of the book notwithstanding, the unusual experiences we discuss are not explicitly religious. They’re usually interpreted through a religious lens (often without any reflection), but almost all of them needn’t be, which is something we return to quite a bit. Flatly disputing the phenomenon is not the only option available to atheists.
We talk about paranormal and parapsychological phenomena, and two major sources of skepticism towards things that fall into those categories. On the one hand, of course, there’s materialism, conservative naturalism, skepticism (as in, the skeptic community), etc. But Protestant Christianity, I was surprised to learn, has also been a skeptical force in history due to their drive to debunk Catholic miracle stories, or even just extraordinary events documented by the Catholic Church that explicitly or implicitly were used as evidence for Catholicism.
Since we’re exploring new terrain that involves some quite unusual topics (e.g., clairvoyance, levitation, visions of dead loved ones, etc.) there’s a lot more I want to say, even in this little description box, but I’ll save it for the interview.
One thing I forgot to mention during the interview: In addition to Dr. Allison’s book, there are a couple podcasts that regularly discuss cases like the ones that came up today in greater depth. “Otherworld” and “Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World” come highly recommended from me.