Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Religion, Spirituality, and the Near-Death Experience

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Religion, Spirituality, and the Near-Death Experience

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Religion, Spirituality, and the Near-Death Experience

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Religion, Spirituality, and the Near-Death Experience

Synopsis

This dramatic and sustained response to decades of research into near-death experiences (NDEs) is the first book to credibly bridge the gap between the competing factions of science and spirituality. Neither a religious argument touting NDEs as hard evidence for God, nor a scientific rebuke to religious interpretations, it balances investigation of these much-reported yet baffling phenomena, and brings fresh urgency to the study of our hopes for a life beyond.

Excerpt

Whilst giving birth to her youngest child in February 1962, a mother from Warrenton, Missouri, suddenly experienced a massive haemorrhage. Hovering on the brink of death during emergency surgery, she suddenly lost consciousness and found herself sucked into a great whirling void 'in which sound was not sound but a tremendous vibrating hum'. At the point at which she felt she could stand no more of this deafening sound, her speed through the void slowed, and she found herself surrounded by a brilliant light. Alone, save for the felt presence of a seemingly invisible guide, she was led onwards, feeling overwhelming sensations of love and warmth. Caught up in her experience, she wanted nothing more than to move closer to 'an even greater light [which] seemed to be radiating from somewhere just ahead', all thoughts of her stricken medical condition now forgotten. Finally, she felt an overwhelming sense of desolation as she heard the firm instruction to 'return to your family, there will be another time for you here'. Afterwards, reflecting on the experience, she remarks how it has changed her life completely, infusing her with a sense of overwhelming love and well being, and helping her lose all fear of death.

Recovering in hospital from wounds sustained in a tank explosion in Forli, Italy, in the closing years of the Second World War, a 28-year-old soldier suddenly found himself 'pulling out of my own body' before experiencing the unusual sensation of looking down on himself lying in the hospital bed from a viewpoint just below the ceiling. Thinking, 'That's strange!' he then

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