February 05, 2024

Bill Richards, a psychologist from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will present the Alice Pope Shade Lecture, The Rebirth of Psychedelic Research – Faith, Revelation and Healing, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 26, in Degenstein Center Theater in the Charles B. Degenstein Campus Center at Susquehanna University.

The event is free and open to the public.

Involved in psychedelic research since 1963, Richards has implemented projects with LSD, DPT, MDA and psilocybin to investigate the promise of psychedelics in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, narcotic addiction and the psychological distress associated with terminal cancer, as well as the use of psychedelics in the training of religious and mental-health professionals.

His recent research at Johns Hopkins’ Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, in collaboration with colleagues at New York University, has focused on the potential value of psilocybin in the continuing education of professional religious leaders from different world religions. His book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences, published by Columbia University Press, has been translated into multiple languages.

Richards, also chief therapist for Sunstone Therapies, earned a Master of Divinity at Yale University before going on to earn his doctorate at Catholic University. He studied with Abraham Maslow at Brandeis University and with Hanscarl Leuner at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany.

Susquehanna University’s annual Shade lecture is made possible by the Alice Pope Shade Fund, established in 1983 by her daughter and Susquehanna graduate, Rebecca Shade ’54 Mignot, to bring nationally and internationally renowned religious scholars and leaders to campus.