Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death   -     By: Carol Zaleski
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Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death

Oxford University Press / 1988 / Paperback

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CBD Stock No: WW56655

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(PUBOxford)''The most thorough, scholarly, and convincing study thus far concerning the culture and religious implications of near-death experiences,''---Virginia Quarterly Review. Compares ancient, medieval, and modern accounts---both the terrifying and the beatific. 275 pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 275
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 1988
Dimensions: 5 1/4 X 8 (inches)
ISBN: 0195056655
ISBN-13: 9780195056655
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

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.

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