Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Something Old, Something NewContemporary Entanglements of Religion and Secularity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Wayne Glausser

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190864170

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190864170.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 April 2020

Psychedelic Last Rites

Psychedelic Last Rites

(p.149) Chapter 7 Psychedelic Last Rites
Something Old, Something New

Wayne Glausser

Oxford University Press

This final chapter compares the Catholic sacrament of extreme unction with modern experiments in psychedelic therapy for the dying. Extreme unction has an unusual history within Christianity: Catholics embrace it as a last, crucial fortification of the soul that prepares someone for heaven, but Protestants, going back to Calvin, view it as a fraudulent mystification. Secular scientists have come up with something comparable to the old sacrament. Beginning in the 1960s, and resuming very recently, psychiatrists have experimented with LSD and psilocybin in an attempt to help patients with terminal cancer overcome anxiety and depression. This chapter explores all facets of the psychedelic “sacrament” as it entangles with extreme unction. The new therapy shares both the high purposes of the old last rites and some of the problems that have surrounded it.

Keywords:   extreme unction, anointing, last rites, psychedelic therapy, LSD, psilocybin

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .