Second Miler Grant Program -
How many of our favorite artists, authors, or musicians have read The Urantia Book?
Michael MacIsaac is a second-generation reader who has been very active in the readership. His involvement began in his late teens and early twenties when he worked to involve, inspire and support younger readers.
He is writing a scholarly book to bring to light The Urantia Book’s broader cultural influence in the world.
Michael has researched and written about the lives of over a hundred famous and influential people and the intriguing stories of how The Urantia Book has been part of their lives, and often influenced their work.
Just a few of the names include Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Presley, and Jackie Gleason.
Michael started writing a book in 2004 as part of a Bachelor’s and then Master’s thesis at Stockholm University’s comparative religions department. His supervisor, Dr. Peter Åkerbäck, became interested in the work he was doing and was surprised at the lack of scholarly articles about The Urantia Book. Dr. Åkerbäck encouraged Michael to write something about the book that would put The Urantia Book in context; create an academic overview and sociological analysis of the book and all that surrounds it. He discusses this in a video about the project (link below) in which David Fabe points out: “So little material is available that a scholar could cite (when doing Urantia Book research). What is written tends to be inaccurate and betrays a lack of familiarity with the material.” Dr. Åkerbäck believed Michael could represent an objective, scholarly perspective that would be an important resource. When he saw the thesis, Dr. Åkerbäck and others insisted that Michael complete this book and publish it.
The thesis was completed after many years of work. It was 220 pages long, not including an extensive source appendix. The thesis encompassed such topics as the book’s origin, contents, and readership. It also had sections on areas where the book has been an influence on scientists, authors, musicians, movements, and communities. Since completing his thesis, the manuscript has grown to over six hundred pages. It also has nearly 3,000 footnotes and a 140-page source appendix. His main focus in recent years has been researching the book’s broader cultural influence. Michael continues to find more influential people who read or have read The Urantia Book.
Mike states in the video: “Around half of the individuals discovered who are covered in the research are musicians. The research shows how many of these musicians who have been influenced by the book are venerated as pioneers of many innovations and sub-genres of jazz, rock, heavy metal, folk, pop and country music, among other genres. Millions of devoted fans profoundly appreciate the work of these reader-musicians, and I think many fans would say they’ve felt spiritually stimulated by their music.” Celebrities add a certain amount of credibility. Musicians are particularly influential since their music can touch our hearts.
The Fellowship helped with part of the funds required so that Michael can hire help with editing, proofreading, formatting and other tasks that will enable the book to be completed.
As this project continues we will share stories and updates along the way.
You can find a video interview about Michael’s project on our YouTube channel, “Friend of The Fellowship Michael MacIsaac”.
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