Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations: Universalism, Constructivism and Near-death Experience, by Shushan, Gregory
Continuum International Publishing Group (Continuum Advances in Religious Studies), May 2009. ISBN-10: 0826440738 ISBN-13: 978-0826440730
The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five Year Clinical Study, by Sartori, Penny
This book reports the results of the first long-term prospective study of near-death experiences (NDEs) to be undertaken in the United Kingdom. The project studied the NDEs of patients in an intensive therapy unit in a Welsh hospital over a five-year period. The author worked as a Staff Nurse on the ITU ward during the study period, allowing her to closely correlate the medical conditions of her patients with their near-death experiences. The research produced several important findings, and the author was awarded a PhD degree by the University of Wales, Lampeter for this work. Only 2 of her patients initiated the report of their NDE, suggesting that such experiences may be under-reported. In several cases she was able to sample the blood gases of patients during the time of their NDE, and these results contradict the theories that NDEs are caused by either low oxygen levels or high carbon-dioxide levels. She also found that patients who did not report NDEs gave broadly inaccurate accounts when asked to guess how their resuscitation proceeded, while those who did report an NDE with an OBE component gave broadly accurate reports of the resuscitation procedure. This undermines the suggestion that NDE OBE reports are a mixture of prior knowledge, fantasy and guesswork, as some have hypothesized. Overall, the study underscores the challenge that NDEs present to explanation in orthodox medical terms.
Edwin Mellen Press, September 2008. ISBN-10: 077345103X ISBN-13: 978-0773451032
Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions, by Moreman, Christopher M
Rowman & Littlefield, August 2008. ISBN-10: 074256228X ISBN-13: 978-0742562288
From the publisher’s website: In every culture throughout history, people have asked the same fundamental question about what will happen to them when they die. From the underworld to the light at the end of the tunnel, beliefs and experiences of death abound. And even though we cannot know for sure what happens to us after death, our understanding of the afterlife can have a profound impact on how we live.
Beyond the Threshold is the first book seriously to examine the afterlife through the lens of both world religions and metaphysical experiences. Christopher M. Moreman includes an introduction to the afterlife beliefs of ancient cultures, which are essential to understanding the roots of many modern ideas about death. He examines the folklore and doctrines of major world religions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. He also discusses psychic phenomena across traditions, such as mediums, near-death and out-of-body experiences, and past-life memories. While ultimately the afterlife remains unknowable, Moreman's unique, in-depth exploration of both beliefs and experiences can help readers reach their own understanding of the afterlife and how to live. No other book in the field approaches the issue of the afterlife from so many angles, but Moreman weaves them skilfully together into an accessible and engaging book.
There Is Life After Death: Compelling Reports from Those Who Have Glimpsed the Afterlife, by Varghese, Roy Abraham
From the publisher’s website: Is death the end? Or, to put it another way, do we survive bodily death? Some shrug their shoulders and declare we simply can’t know. Others just say no. And a few, flying their philosophical colours, pretentiously profess to not even understand the question.
Curiously, the overwhelming majority of human beings throughout the course of history have taken it for granted that death is not the end, that there is a life after death. This striking and seemingly instinctive belief has been embodied in the religious traditions and philosophical reflections of most cultures.
There Is Life After Death is the first of its kind in that it assembles and analyzes a comprehensive range of data on life after death and then provides the framework needed to understand the data. No previous book has presented such concrete evidence—evidence based on the accounts of eyewitnesses as well as on data derived from diverse sources throughout the world and history—supporting the existence of an afterlife.
Above all, the book provides exciting and compelling answers to the urgent question: What lies on the other side?
New Page Books, November 2009. ISBN-10: 1601630956 ISBN-13: 978-1601630957
The Stepchildren of Science: Psychical Research and Parapsychology in Germany, c. 1870-1939, by Wolffram, Heather
From the publisher’s website: Leading the reader through the darkened séance rooms and laboratories of Imperial and inter-war Germany, The Stepchildren of Science casts light on the emergence of psychical research and parapsychology in the German context. It looks, in particular, at the role of the psychiatrist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing - a figure who fashioned himself as both propagandist and Grand Seignior of German parapsychology - in shaping these nascent disciplines. In contrast to other recent studies in which occultism is seen as a means of dealing with or creating “the modern”, this book considers the epistemological, cultural and social issues that arose from psychical researchers’ and parapsychologists’ claims to scientific legitimacy. Focusing on the boundary disputes between these researchers and the spiritualists, occultists, psychologists and scientists with whom they competed for authority over the paranormal, The Stepchildren of Science demonstrates that in the German context both proponents and opponents alike understood psychical research and parapsychology as border sciences.
Rodopi (Clio Medica/Wellcome Institute Series in the History of Medicine), November 2009. ISBN-10: 9042027282 ISBN-13: 978-9042027282
Out-of-Body and Near-Death Experiences: Brain-State Phenomena or Glimpses of Immortality?, by Marsh, Michael N.
From the publisher’s website: Personalised accounts of out-of-body (OBE) and near-death (NDE) experiences are frequently interpreted as offering evidence for immortality and an afterlife. Since most OBE/NDE follow severe curtailments of cerebral circulation with loss of consciousness, the agonal brain supposedly permits 'mind', 'soul' or 'consciousness' to escape neural control and provide glimpses of the afterlife.
Michael Marsh critically analyses the work of five key writers who support this so-called "dying brain" hypothesis. He firmly disagrees with such otherworldly 'mystical' or 'psychical' interpretations, ably demonstrating how they are explicable in terms of brain neurophysiology and its neuropathological disturbances. The original basis and thrust of Marsh's claim sees the recorded phenomenology as reflections of brains rapidly reawakening to full conscious-awareness, consistent with other reported phenomenologies attending recovery from antecedent states of unconsciousness: the "re-awakening brain" hypothesis. From this basis, Marsh also offers a re-classification of NDE into early and late phase sequences, thereby dismantling the untenable concepts of "core" and "depth" experiences.
Marsh further provides a detailed examination of the spiritual and quasi-religious overtones accorded OBE/NDE, highlighting their inconsistencies when compared with classical accounts of divine disclosure, and the eschatological precepts of resurrection belief as professed credally. In assessing the implications of anthropological, philosophical, and theological concepts of 'personhood' and 'soul' as arguments for personal survival after death, Marsh celebrates the role of conventional faith in appropriating the expectant biblical promises of a 'New Creation'.
Oxford University Press (Oxford Theological Monographs), January 2010. ISBN-10: 0199571503 ISBN-13: 978-0199571505
From the Publisher's website: A quirky feature documentary on the science behind psychic phenomena by Dutch filmmaker Renée Scheltema. She was inspired to explore the realms of psychic phenomena after a series of mysterious events happened around her all in a short period of time...Watch top scientists explain the inexplicable...
Click title to see SPR review by Tom Ruffles as well as the trailer for the DVD.
Documentary directed by Renée Scheltema, 2009
The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide: Protection Techniques for Encounters with The Paranormal, by Belanger, Michelle
From the publisher’s website: Chasing the unseen has become a popular pastime but most ghost hunters are unaware of the very real harm that can be done by malevolent human spirits, non-human entities, and a host of astral parasites. This guide from medium and paranormal investigator Michelle Belanger features proven protection techniques – and for the sceptics out there, highlights how the methods also work on a psychological level. You'll get straightforward instruction on arming yourself with an array of essential techniques. Woven through each chapter is a true account of a ghost investigation conducted by Belanger, which provides a framework for understanding when to use these potent defence strategies.
Llewellyn, October 2009. ISBN: 073871870X ISBN-13: 9780738718705
Regional paranormal guides from Amberley Publishing, by Multiple authors: Addicoat, Guttridge, O'Dell, Hallowell, Ritson
Haunted Pubs of the South West, by Ian Addicoat, 2009, ISBN 9781848684638;
Paranormal Dorset, by Roger Guttridge, 2009, ISBN 9781848683945;
Paranormal Hertfordshire, by Damien O’Dell, 2009, ISBN 9781848681187;
Paranormal South Tyneside, by Michael J. Hallowell, 2009, ISBN 9781848687301;
Paranormal North East, by Darren W. Ritson, 2009, ISBN 9781848681965.
Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Extraordinary People, by Krippner, Stanley and Friedman, Harris L.
From the publisher’s website: Welcome to the world of Mysterious Minds: The Neurobiology of Psychics, Mediums, and Other Extraordinary People. Here, experts in the emerging field of neurobiological study make the case that while many claims of psychic ability are easily proven false, there may well be claimants who can obtain information in ways not easily explained by mainstream science—and there might be scientific tools and approaches available to confirm those experiences.
Written by an expert team of distinguished investigators from a half dozen countries around the world, Mysterious Minds introduces readers to the current state of research into parapsychological experiences, emphasizing the neurobiological data obtained by those who claim to be psychics or mediums. It offers specific examples of paranormal claims of extraordinary people—claims scrutinized through the use of high-tech brain imaging, clinical neurological examinations, and psychotropic drugs. The book concludes by proposing a series of models based on fundamental neurobiology, psychology, and quantum physics that could help us unravel these mental mysteries.
Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, CA. Harris L. Friedman, PhD, is a research professor of psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.
Praeger, November 2009. ISBN-10: 0313358664 ISBN-13: 978-0313358661
From the publisher’s website: In its day, spiritualism brought hundreds of thousands of Americans to séance tables and trance lectures. It has alternately been ridiculed as the apogee of fatuous credulity and hailed as a feminist movement. Its tricks have been exposed, its charlatans unmasked, and its heroes' names lost to posterity. In its day, however, its leaders were household names and politicians worried about capturing the Spiritualist vote. Cathy Gutierrez places Spiritualism in the context of the 19th-century American Renaissance. Although this epithet usually signifies the sudden blossoming of American letters, Gutierrez points to its original meaning: a cultural imagination enraptured with the past and the classics in particular, accompanied by a cultural efflorescence. Spiritualism, she contends, was the religious articulation of the American Renaissance, and the ramifications of looking backward for advice about the present were far-reaching. The Spiritualist movement, says Gutierrez, was a 'renaissance of the Renaissance,' a culture in love with history as much as it trumpeted progress and futurity, and an expression of what constituted religious hope among burgeoning technology and colonialism. Rejecting Christian ideas about salvation, Spiritualists embraced Platonic and Neoplatonic ideas. Humans were shot through with the divine, rather than seen as helpless and inexorably corrupt sinners in the hands of a transcendent, angry God. Gutierrez's study of this fascinating and important movement is organized thematically. She analyzes Spiritualist conceptions of memory, marriage, medicine, and minds, explores such phenomena as machines for contacting the dead, spirit-photography, the idea of eternal spiritual affinity (which implied the necessity for marriage reform), the connection between health and spirituality, and mesmerism.
Oxford University Press USA, August 2009. ISBN13: 9780195388350 ISBN10: 0195388356
Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences, by Proud, Louis
From the publisher’s website: Since his late teens, Louis Proud has suffered from chronic sleep paralysis and has undergone hundreds of such episodes, many of them terrifying but ultimately transformational and eye-opening. These experiences, he believes, allow access to the "spirit realm" and could well hold the key to a whole host of paranormal phenomena, including poltergeist disturbances, out-of-body-experiences, mediumship, spirit possession, and succubi and incubi encounters. Drawing on the work of Colin Wilson, Joe Fisher, Stan Gooch, Whitley Strieber, Robert Monroe, Dion Fortune, and a number of other paranormal experts, Proud lucidly demonstrates that many sleep paralysis experiences involve genuine contact and communication with incorporeal entities, some of them parasitic and potentially dangerous. In this comprehensive, open-minded exploration of the sleep paralysis phenomenon, filled with fascinating descriptions of his own experiences, as well as those of others, no stone is left unturned as Proud attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Anomalist Books, November 2009. ISBN-10: 1933665440 ISBN-13: 978-1933665443
From the publisher’s website: In this classic book on destructive hauntings, Colin Wilson, renowned authority on the paranormal, examines the evidence and develops a definitive theory of the poltergeist phenomenon. Countless true-life cases of poltergeist infestations have been recorded since the days of ancient Greece and Rome to the present. But what are poltergeists? Where do they come from? And why do they appear in our world?
From the case of a black-robed monk that terrorized a family for years, to the investigation of a talking mongoose, to true stories of gnomes, sorcerers, witches, and demons, this guide explores a bone-chilling gallery of the mysterious entities known as poltergeists.
Llewellyn, September 2009. ISBN-10: 073871867X ISBN-13: 978-0738718675
Victorian Women and the Theatre of Trance: Mediums, Spiritualists and Mesmerists in Performance, by Lehman, Amy
From the publisher’s website: Spiritualists in the nineteenth century spoke of the "Borderland," a shadowy threshold where the living communed with the dead, and where those in the material realm could receive comfort or advice from another world. The skilled performances of mostly female actors and performers made the "Borderland" a theatre, of sorts, in which dramas of revelation and recognition were produced in the forms of séances, trances, and spiritualist lectures.
This book examines some of the most fascinating American and British actresses of the Victorian era, whose performances fairly mesmerized their audiences of amused sceptics and ardent believers. It also focuses on the transformative possibilities of the spiritualist theatre, revealing how the performances allowed Victorian women to speak, act, and create outside the boundaries of their restricted social and psychological roles.
Amy Lehman has presented research on the theatrical aspects of 19th-century spiritualism at theatre and Victorian studies conferences in the United States and abroad. She is currently on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Carolina.
McFarland, October 2009. ISBN-13: 9780786434794 ISBN-10: 0786434791
Anomalous Experiences: Essays from Parapsychological and Psychological Perspectives, by Smith, Matthew D. McFarland (editor)
From the publisher’s website: Thirteen essays on the psychology and parapsychology of anomalous experience explore a range of experiences, including extrasensory perception, haunting experiences, apparitions, alien contacts, seance room phenomena, and out-of-body experiences. The contributors are Daryl Bem, Etzel Cardena, Jezz Fox, Chris French, Craig Murray, Ciaran O'Keeffe, Chris Roe, Simon Sherwood, Christine Simmonds-Moore, Paul Stevens, Caroline Watt, Richard Wiseman and Robin Woofitt. Matt Smith has conducted research on paranormal experiences for more than 15 years and was the resident psychologist/ parapsychologist for the television show Most Haunted.
McFarland, November 2009. ISBN-10: 0786443987 ISBN-13: 978-0786443987