Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times / Edition 1

Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times / Edition 1

by Carol G. Zaleski
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195056655

ISBN-13: 9780195056655

Pub. Date: 11/28/1988

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Dozens of books, articles, television shows, and films relating "near-death" experiences have appeared in the past decade. People who have survived a close brush with death reveal their extraordinary visions and ecstatic feelings at the moment they died, describing journeys through a tunnel to a realm of light, visual reviews of their past deeds,

Overview

Dozens of books, articles, television shows, and films relating "near-death" experiences have appeared in the past decade. People who have survived a close brush with death reveal their extraordinary visions and ecstatic feelings at the moment they died, describing journeys through a tunnel to a realm of light, visual reviews of their past deeds, encounters with a benevolent spirit, and permanent transformation after returning to life.
Carol Zaleski's Otherworld Journeys offers the most comprehensive treatment to date of the evidence surrounding near-death experiences. The first to place researchers' findings, first-person accounts, and possible medical or psychological explanations in historical perspective, she discusses how these materials reflect the influence of contemporary culture. She demonstrates that modern near-death reports belong to a vast family of otherworld journey tales, with examples in nearly every religious heritage. She identifies universal as well as culturally specific features by comparing near-death narratives in two distinct periods of Western society: medieval Christendom and twentieth-century secular America. This comparison reveals profound similarities, such as the life-review and the transforming after-effects of the vision, as well as striking contrasts, such as the absence of hell or punishment scenes from modern accounts.
Mediating between the "debunkers" and the near-death researchers, Zaleski considers current efforts to explain near-death experience scientifically. She concludes by emphasizing the importance of the otherworld vision for understanding imaginative and religious experience in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195056655
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/28/1988
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,254,181
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)

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