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Psychedelics and Religion

Literature on psychedelics and religion is vast. The following is a highly limited selection of works that relate directly to conversations in this GTUx Originals series, offer critical engagement with the topic, or are simply too influential to ignore.

Books (print and electronic)

Articles (print and electronic)

Open Access Articles

 “Black Male Joy in the World of Psychedelics: A Conversation with Ayize Jama-Everett, Kufikiri Imara and Nicholas Powers,” Chacruna Institute (Jul 28, 2021). Replay accessible here: 

Brian Pace, “Turn Off Your Mind, Relax—and Float Right-Wing?” Psymposia (Feb 8, 2021). 

Brian T. Anderson et al., “Psilocybin-Assisted Group Therapy for Demoralized Older Long-Term AIDS Survivor Men: An Open Label Safety and Feasibility Pilot Study,” EClinicalMedicine (2020), 

Emily Pothast, “The (Re)Colonization of Psychedelic Medicine,” Medium (Sept 30, 2021).  

Hartogsohn, Ido. "Set and setting in the Santo Daime." Frontiers in pharmacology 12 (2021): 610.

Patricia Kubala, “On the Rehabilitation of Psychedelics as ‘Medicines,’” special issue on “The Psychedelic Revival” in Hot Spots (Society for Cultural Anthropology, 2020). 

Sam S. B. Shonkoff, “What the Study of Religion Can Teach Us about Psychedelics,” Bill of Health, Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics (Nov 4, 2020):


Subscription Articles

Brian T. Anderson, et al., “Psychedelic Medicine: Safety and Ethical Concerns,“ The Lancet 7.10 (Oct 2020): 829–830. 

David B. Yaden, et al., “Of Roots and Fruits: A Comparison of Psychedelic and Nonpsychedelic Mystical Experiences,” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 57.4 (2017): 338–353. 

Eran Arie, Baruch Rosen and Dvory Namdar, “Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad,” Tel Aviv 47.1 (2020): 5-28.  

Joost J. Breeksema and Michiel van Elk, “Working with Weirdness: A Response to “Moving Past Mysticism in Psychedelic Science,” ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci. 4.4 (2021): 1471−1474. 

Leigh Eric Schmidt, “The Making of Modern ‘Mysticism,’” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 71.2 (2003): 273–302. 

R. Griffiths, W. Richards, U. McCann, and R. Jesse, “Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance,” Psychopharmacology 187.3 (2006): 268–283. 

Rick Doblin, “Pahnke’s ‘Good Friday experiment’: A Long-Term Follow-Up and Methodological Critique,”Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 23.1 (1991): 1–28. 

Rick J. Strassman, “The Psychedelic Religion of Mystical Consciousness,” Journal of Psychedelic Studies 2.1 (2018): 1–4. 

Sanders, J. W., and Zijlmans, J. “Moving Past Mysticism in Psychedelic Science,” ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci. 4.3 (2021): 1253−1255. 

Williams, M., Davis, A., Xin, Y., Sepeda, N., Colon-Grigas, P., Sinnott, S., Haeny, A., “People of Color in North America Report Improvements in Racial Trauma and Mental Health Symptoms following Psychedelic Experiences,” Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy 28.3 (2021): 215–226.