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The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation Hardcover – June 22, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0313358647 ISBN-10: 0313358648

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The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of Investigation + Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience + Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313358648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313358647
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


• Takes a cross-disciplinary approach to the topic of near-death experiences

• Includes contributions from numerous MDs and PhDs considered among the top experts in this field worldwide

• Is enhanced by vignettes from adults and children recounting their personal near-death experiences

• 14 tables




"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."


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Book Description

A woman entered a hospital clinically dead. After revival, she claimed to have "seen" a shoe on a ledge outside a sixth floor window of another hospital building. A social worker checked. The shoe was there, not visible from the street, on the opposite side of the campus from where the woman had been brought in by ambulance.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 70 people found the following review helpful By K. R. Vincent on August 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase


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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Helen Miyakawa on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marc J. Deriso on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By W. Cheung on September 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Steve Miller on July 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
For all physicians, counselors, hospice workers and ministers who work with the dying or counsel those those facing serious health crises, this is the book to pull together a wealth of research into this extraordinary, life-changing experience. It's very well researched, organized logically under the most useful topics, and presented in a way that those unfamiliar with the field won't likely stumble over insider, technical language.
I've been seriously studying near-death experiences for some time, reading many books and scholarly articles.

I wish I'd read this book earlier in my research, since it would have saved me a lot of time. This handbook summarizes the research of 30 years of near-death studies as contained in books and the scholarly, peer-reviewed literature. After reading this book, should you wish to research further, you will know the main scholars in the field, the main books to read, the main articles to consult.

Although this book contains portions of many near-death experiences it isn't a book for those who want to casually read a number of full-length near-death experiences. Rather, it's for the person who wants to know how these experiences may vary from culture to culture, how they change those who experience them, if physiological and psychological theories are sufficient to explain them, which publications contain accounts with corroborative evidence (e.g., things observed while clinically dead from outside the body), whether or not people who have them are psychotic or prone to psychical experiences, etc.

Sources are carefully documented and the results are presented with the tentative (not dogmatic) attitude of true scholarship. Highly recommended, in fact mandatory reading, for all serious students of the near-death experience and those who work with those who may experience them.
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