In ‘God on Psychedelics,’ Don Lattin offers a roadmap of congregational tripping

by | Apr 10, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Decades after being forced underground by the war on drugs, psychedelics are going mainstream. Researchers are rediscovering the possibilities of using psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA and LSD as tools in treating depression, addiction and psychological distress.Oh, and they may spark a spiritual awakening, too.
In his new book, “God on Psychedelics,” Don Lattin, a veteran religion journalist, investigates how some religious groups are encouraging chemically induced revelatory experiences of human interconnectedness and unity.
Lattin, who for years covered religion for the San Francisco Chronicle and has written six other books, mostly about psychedelics, said things are changing fast. Though mostly illegal for recreational use, universities around the world are studying psychedelics in clinical studies, and some states are taking notice: Oregon last year approved the adult use of psilocybin, the hallucinogen in “magic mushrooms,” though it is still hammering out the rules for its production and sale.
Five years ago, people — and particularly clergy — didn’t want to be quoted about their experiences with psychedelics. Now they’re far more open. Lattin said tripping is being explored in congregational settings and in chaplaincy.
RNS caught up with Lattin, who lives in the Bay Area, to talk about his new book. The interview was edited for length and clarity.
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