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The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation 2nd Printing Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313358647
ISBN-10: 0313358648
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Recommended." - Choice

"Practitioners and researchers specializing in near-death experiences review the scientific literature in and from the perspectives of their various disciplines, mostly mental health, but also other health care fields and the social sciences. Among the topics are pleasurable western adult near-death experiences and their after effect, western children and teens, a census of non-western experiences to 2005, world religions, veridical perceptions, explanatory models, and practical applications of the research. Most of the 11 studies are based on presentations at a fall 2006 conference in Houston, Texas." - Reference & Research Book News

About the Author

Janice Miner Holden, EdD, is professor of counseling and chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at the University of North Texas, Denton, TX. She is current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Bruce Greyson, MD, is founder and longtime research director of the International Association for Near-Death Studies, Durham, NC. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is the Chester R. Carlson Professor of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, in addition to director of the Division of Perceptual Studies, at the University of Virginia Medical School.

Debbie James, RN/MSN, is senior instructor in the Nursing Education Department at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 2nd Printing edition (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313358648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313358647
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Farnaz Masumian has been teaching world religions at institutions of higher education since 1992, including the University of Texas at Austin since 2005. Her primary research interests are in the areas of life after death, near-death experiences (NDEs), and meditation. Among her publications are several books, including "Life after Death: A Study of the Afterlife in World Religions (One World Publications, 1995, reprinted in 2002 by Kalimat Press)," and "Divine Educators (George Ronald, 2005)," which she co-authored with her husband, Bijan Masumian. Farnaz's latest book is " The Divine Art of Meditation: meditation and visualization techniques for a healthy mind, body and soul" (George Ronald, 2014).

Her "Life After Death" book has so far been translated into Russian, Polish, and Indonesian languages and won first prize in religion/spirituality category at the 1998 Beijing, China Book Fair. In October 2006, she also presented a research paper on "Spirituality, World Religions, and NDE" at the 30th anniversary conference of the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS). In June 2009, the proceedings of that conference, including her research, were published as a book titled "The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
BOOK REVIEW
by Ken R. Vincent, Ed.D., author of VISIONS OF GOD FROM THE NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

THE HANDBOOK OF NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES: THIRTY YEARS OF INVESTIGATION (2009) Holden, J. M., Greyson, B., & James, D.

This book commemorates research into near-death experience (NDE) that has transpired since the publication of Raymond Moody's classic book LIFE AFTER LIFE in 1975. Its content is based on material presented at the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) Conference at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, in 2006.

The editors, who form a near-death studies' "dream team" are: Bruce Greyson, M. D., professor of psychiatry and Director of the University of Virginia Medical School's Division of Perceptual Studies (the premiere center for scientific research into life after death); Jan Holden, Ed.D., Professor of Counseling at the University of North Texas and Interim Chair of the Department of Counseling and Higher Education and an expert in all research done on NDEs since 1877; Debbie James, R. N., Senior Instructor of Nursing at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Nursing Education Department who has orchestrated almost all of the IANDS conferences ever held.

Normally an edited book that is based on a conference is simply a collection of the papers presented. However, this handbook of NDEs is a much more cohesive and coherent product due to the extensive editing and consolidation of the presented topics. The editors have successfully presented the exhaustive data in a logical and smooth, readable style.

The first chapter covers scientific NDE research for the past 150 years. The second chapter is a presentation of pleasurable adult NDEs, followed by a chapter on after-effects of pleasurable NDEs.
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Yes, this book is that good. This book is a real breath of fresh air, an amazing piece of intellectual discourse and accurate summation of the current status of NDE research. For those that like DATA and not gobbeldygoop non-sense arguments conjured up from intellectual abstraction, THIS is the book for you. I especially enjoyed the paper on adressing the dying-brain hypothesis based explanatory models for NDEs. Finally, someone willing to stick ardently to the data in order to prove a point, what a change.

The book for the serious or casual researcher and skeptic.
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A very comprehensive look at NDEs (near-death experiences) from several different authors. The book can be a bit dry--it's much more on the scientific rather than metaphysical or spiritual side of things. Nonetheless, it is solid. It answers most NDE-related questions and then some.
Unfortunately, one finds while reading that the study of NDEs often falls victim to a lack of evidence and field studies--that is, NDE studies are very young and need much more work.
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This is quite a good book in the sense that it is quite comprehensive. A lot of authors (they are actually presenters in a 2006 conference in Texas) have done quite a bit of literature review for you. You get a review on the characteristics (including the after-effects) and demographics of so-called "near-death experiences" (the authors are all honest enough to specify that some of these experiences occur under great psychological and physical stress but not necessarily under "near-death" circumstances).

Very valuably, you got a literature review on cross-cultural reports of these experiences. This is in Chapter 7, by Professor Allan Kellehear. This is the gem of the book. PLEASE READ THIS CHAPTER FIRST if you do choose to buy and read this book. This is the most objective and least biased part of the book. Very scholarly indeed.

Every reader will have his or her own view. I am a medical specialist practising in Australia. (I am also a Christian and believe in afterlife). Reading scientific journals is part of my daily activities. From my own (probably biased) point of view, I find this book on the whole biased towards the assumption that near-death experiences may serve as "evidence" suggestive of an afterlife. There CLEARLY is an alternative interpretation. As pointed out in Chapter 10, CURRENT models of consciousness could not explain near-death experiences satisfactorily. Well, refine the model then. There is no need to jump to the conclusion that we need a "transcendental" model to explain things.

But this is indeed a unique accomplishment. Four stars.
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I'm giving this five stars but not because this is an exciting read. This book probably won't blow your mind. You will not read very many accounts of near death experiences, which, frankly, I think are the most interesting parts of this research.

Instead, I give this five stars because it is an honest, scholarly review of most of the research on NDEs up until 2009. For people who were not aware that this was a serious field of scientific pursuit, this is probably your best bet to know what's been done so far.

Probably the best part of this book (while simultaneously being the most disappointing) is seeing how far this research needs to go to further elucidate the mechanisms of this phenomenon. As a scientist myself (evolutionary biology), I can sense both the excitement at the fact that there is much to learn and uncover (it's a greatly neglected field despite it's obvious practical and theoretical applications and public interest), while also being aware that this field is unfortunately not something that comes easily funded. There lies a dilemma: we need larger more rigorous (= more expensive) studies, but practically nobody wants to fund it. The awarding of a $5 million Templeton Prize to a professor at UC Riverside for the Immortality Project gives hope that these questions will further garner the interest of granting committees (even though most of the grant won't deal directly with NDE's).

Anyway, to get to the point of helping individuals considering buying this book...
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