Technology, Psychedelics, and the Future of Religion

Erik Davis ( is an author, independent scholar, podcaster and teacher based in San Francisco. His wide-ranging work focuses on the intersection of alternative religion, media, and the popular imagination. He is the author, most recently, of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies, co-published by MIT Press and Strange Attractor. He also wrote Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica (2010), The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape (2006), a critical volume on Led Zeppelin (2005), and the celebrated cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information (1998). Erik’s scholarly and popular essays on music, technoculture, drugs, and spirituality have appeared in scores of books, magazines, and scholarly journals, and his writing has been translated into a dozen languages. For a decade, he explored the “cultures of consciousness” on his weekly podcast Expanding Mind. Davis has spoken widely at universities, conferences, retreat centers, and transformational festivals, and has been interviewed by CNN, the BBC, NPR, and the New York Times. He graduated from Yale University in 1988, and earned his PhD in religious studies at Rice University in 2015. He currently writes the substack publication Burning Shore (

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