Jeffrey J. Kripal (Ph. D., University of Chicago 1993) is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA. He is the author of Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom: Eroticism and Reflexivity in the Study of Mysticism (Chicago, 2001) and Kali's Child: The Mystical and the Erotic in the Life and Teachings of Ramakrishna (Chicago, 1995, 1998).
He has also co-edited volumes with Glenn W. Shuck on the history of Esalen and the American counterculture, On the Edge of the Future: Esalen and the Evolution of American Culture (Indiana, 2005); with Rachel Fell McDermott on a popular Hindu goddess, Encountering Kali: In the Margins, at the Center, in the West (California, 2003); with G. William Barnard on the ethical critique of mystical traditions, Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism (Seven Bridges, 2002); and with T.G. Vaidyanathan of Bangalore, India, on the dialogue between psychoanalysis and Hinduism, Vishnu on Freud's Desk: A Reader in Psychoanalysis and Hinduism (Oxford, 1999).
His areas of interest include the comparative erotics and ethics of mystical literature, American countercultural translations of Asian religions, and the history of Western esotericism from ancient gnosticism to the New Age.