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Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation Paperback – December 1, 2000


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Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation + Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives + Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland; Revised edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786409134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786409136
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Excellent...fascinating and compelling...distinct potential for profoundly changing our way of understanding the nature of human existence and death." -- Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research

"Fascinating and compelling...significant" --Journal of Scientific Exploration

About the Author

The late Ian Stevenson, M.D., was a research professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia. He lived in Charlottesville.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1997
Format: Paperback
This is not a starry--eyed, dreamy retelling of tales of dubious authenticity. Rather, Stevenson, drawing from 40 years of carefully documented and researched case histories, adopts an academic approach and cool, detached tone in his analysis. He is not interested in convincing anyone of the truth of reincarnation; but he does want to force the reader to seriously consider the evidence. The detailed evidence is not in this book, but in his scholarly publications, although accounts of 12 cases are provided for purposes of discussion. After presenting these cases, Stevenson outlines his methodology and draws out some recurring patterns. He concludes with a thought--provoking, speculative chapter on the explanatory power of the reincarnation hypothesis, and considers some objections of those who are reluctant to accept rebirth.
Stevenson's cool, transparent discussion presents the sceptical reader with a dilemma: either accept that these are serious cases which deserve careful scrutiny on their own merits, or claim fraud or delusion. The latter begins to appear wildly improbable given the apparent thoroughness and care of Stevenson's research, and this reader felt that he had been relentlessly backed into a corner. A book well worth reading for anyone who is interested in the mind--body relationship, death, or how personality is formed.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Alan Wilder on November 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although not Stevenson's most convinving cases (if you take a look, his files contain many better ones), there is some value here.
Yes, there is a question of contact outside. However, making a fool-proof case for reincarnation is impossible. Even the amazing birth mark cases Stevenson has on file (and these are, indeed, frightening to read) could be ruled out in _some_ way. The real world is not a laboratory: just ask the poor social scientists. You can't study something like this easily. There will never be a 100% fool-proof case of reincrnation. Nevertheless, many of the verifications are truly impressive and give good evidence that there might be something to reincarnation. Considering it is the most common belief in organized, animistic, and folk religions, there may be a reason for that yet.
While I give it 5 stars becuase it is quite good, Stevenson's Where Biology and Reincarnation Intersect is a better, and more convincing read... Not that it is airtight. Still, the amount of evidence there IS makes me absolutely shocked that only few people are interested in it. I am guessing that scientists of all stripes, whether social or physical, tend to categorize faith as faith and science as science. Frankly, I think that this is sometimes a simply arbitrary opposition
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
In this book Ian Stevenson presents an empirical case for reincarnation. If that combination seems odd to you now it won't by the end of the book. He carefully and prudently refrains from arguing that reincarnation occurs; instead, he records some unusual and seemingly anomalous facts--carefully documented--and gives the reader the option of deciding whether reincarnation is or is not the best explanation for them. Stevenson remains open to the possibility of alternative explanations for how young, scarcely-verbal children can recite details about the lives of people they have never met, but by the end of the book it's clear that the usual mechanistic and biological explanations cannot suffice.
Simply put, Stevenson interviews kids between the ages of (usually) 2 and 7 who have stories to tell about who they were, by their own description, in a previous life. He then attempts to identify the previous personality, and to verify or disprove every detail of the child's story. He writes about kids who talk about being a fishmonger with a green jeep in a distant town they have never visited, and don't know anyone who has visited; kids who have birthmarks corresponding to entry and exit bullet-wounds they claim to have received when murdered, and who give the details of their deaths, later verified; and kids who claim to have another family and reveal that other family's secrets. Such cases are the tip of Stevenson's iceberg.
Stevenson makes a few speculative claims in his concluding chapters, and I think he could be more appreciative of the historical criticisms of vitalistic thinkers, from the alchemists to Goethe. He speculates a bit too much about the implications his research has for theories of personality, and in a few places his self-restraint feels strained.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By M. Yank on March 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ian Stevenson's thorough examination of children who claim to remember previous lives constitutes one of the most pioneering bodies of work in any scientific field in history. This text is geared towards a different type of reader than are his more comprehensive and technical works, such as 1997's two volume 2268 page magnum opus "Reincarnation and Biology," but the genius of his scientific approach remains apparent. The strength of Stevenson's arguments lies in the meticulousness of his methodology and the improbably consistencies among the thousands of cases he has personally investigated, and he would be the first to tell you not to draw conclusions from only a handful of cases, such as the group presented in this book. Nevertheless, "Children Who Remember Previous Lives" serves as an excellent introduction to a remarkable field, and is a must-read for anyone interested in psychical research.
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