Dr. Jerry Brown believes he’s found new evidence of psychedelics in early Christian art.
photo by: Skeptiko
On this episode of Skeptiko…
Alex Tsakiris: Wait a minute, I’ve heard you say this before; do you think for a second that this idea of recasting Jesus from this born of a virgin, son of God, God on earth being, to someone who’s well-schooled in entheogens and healing… there is no way that’s going to fly with modern day Christianity.
Jerry Brown: Whether you believe in all the other stories about The Bible, you can and it is not contradictory to a belief system that says that Jesus was the son of God, if that is your belief, to contemplate that he could have realized his divinity through entheogens.
Stay with us for Skeptiko…
Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. Of course, [we] have to have their critics in there. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and on this episode a really interesting topic that we’ve touched on only slightly here and there and I’m glad to bring it center stage. Dr. Jerry Brown
, along with his wife Julie Brown, have written a book, The Psychedelic Gospels
So the issue here is something you’ve probably heard about: were psychedelics a part of early Christian history? Spoiler alert — yes they were. Here’s an anthropologist who has looked into it extensively. He has all the artwork, all the analysis, all the stuff. But, of course, this is Skeptiko. We want to go much further, and the questions I wanted to explore were, what does this mean? Does it mean, like some atheists take it, that Christianity is just bonkers because “those dudes were just trip’n?” That seems to be the takeaway there from the atheist side.
Now, there’s another side, there’s a super progressive Christian perspective, and please don’t ask me to point this person out because I don’t know who or where they are, but they would maintain the Christian narrative about Jesus, and son of God, and virgin birth, and all that stuff, plus they would add that he may have been introducing psychedelic mushrooms as well? And that has to be in play too here because, as you’ll hear, that’s kind of where Jerry is coming from.
And then there’s this vast middle ground… so, who was this figure Jesus? What role have these psychedelics played in the development of religions, wisdom traditions, of people just experiencing these extended realms?
So, a really interesting topic, a lot to pull apart there and we try and do it all in this interview with Dr. Jerry Brown.
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Alex Tsakiris: Today we welcome Jerry B. Brown to Skeptiko. Jerry is an anthropologist who, along with his wife Julie, who is a psychotherapist, have written, The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity
. Jerry, welcome to Skeptiko.
Jerry Brown: It’s a pleasure to be here, thank you Alex.