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Brief Report: Near-Death Experiences among a Sample of Iranian Muslims

Description: Abstract: Muslim near-death experiences (NDEs) have been rarely reported by comparison to the incident of NDEs reported in other groups. Recently, after Kreps (2009) found no NDEs in a sample from Pakistan and Kashmir, he concluded Muslim NDEs may even be nonexistent. However, in Arak City, Iran, we easily identified 19 Iranian Muslims who reported having experienced an NDE. Thirty participants claiming to have memories from a period of unconsciousness associated with a close brush with death completed a Persian translation of Greyson's (1983) NDE Scale as well as background and semi-structured questions. Of these, 19 (63%) scored 7 or higher on the NDE Scale, Greyson's criterion for a valid NDE. The presumed NDErs were 10 female and 9 male; aged 16 to 65 years old with a mean age of 33; ranging in education from no high school diploma (5%), to high school diploma (37%), to bachelor's degree (58%); reporting NDE circumstances of accident (58%), attempted suicide (16%), illness (11%), natural disaster (11%), and emotional trauma (5%); and reporting time since NDE ranging from less than one to 20 years with a mean of 8 years. Although low reliability precluded further statistical analysis of the data or comparison of them to results of previous Western studies, our informal assessment was that both the contents and aftereffects of the Muslim NDEs were quite similar to those of Westerners. We concluded that NDEs are not particularly rare in Muslim groups and that their similarity to Western NDEs suggests they may be a cross-culturally universal and transpersonal phenomenon.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Fracasso, Cheryl; Aleyasin, Seyed Ali; Friedman, Harris & Young, M. Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

Brief Report: Psychologists' Knowledge of and Attitudes about Near-Death Experiences: Changes over Time and Relationship to Transpersonl Self-Concept

Description: Abstract: We conducted a comparison and extension of Walker and Russell's (1989) study of psychologists' knowledge of and attitudes about near-death experiences (NDEs). We used their Near-Death Phenomena Knowledge and Attitudes Questionnaire (NDPKAQ), consisting of one knowledge scale and two attitude scales, to explore possible changes over time. We also used the Self-Expansiveness Level Form -- Transpersonal Scale (SELF-TS; Friedman, 1983) to explore the relationship of transpersonal self-concept with knowledge of and attitudes about NDEs. We randomly surveyed 84 psychologists listed in the Washington state National Register and obtained 18 completed responses (61% male, 39% female; mean age 60 years; ethnicity unknown). The comparison of our NDPKAQ data with Walker and Russell's Illinois psychologists' data suggests psychologists' knowledge and attitudes about NDEs have remained unchanged over the pas two decades (p > .05). Two of the three NDPKAQ scale scores correlated significantly with the SELF-TS scores (p = .03, .05), suggesting a positive relationship between transpersonal self-concept and knowledge of and attitudes towards NDEs. We discuss limitations of our results and implications of our findings for professional education and training on NDEs.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Fracasso, Cheryl; Friedman, Harris & Young, M. Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Dying Mother:" Historical Citations of Mary Goffe's Seventeenth-Century Near-Death Apparition

Description: Abstract: Traditionally, certain cases have been of particular importance to students of near-death phenomena. Such cases are more than mere examples or research data; they are resources that are generally used to defend particular theoretical ideas, such as the projection of the spirit or of some subtle body from the physical body around the time of death. One such case was that of Mary Goffe, a seventeenth-century apparition of a dying woman that Richard Baxter reported in his book "The Certainty of the Worlds of Spirits" (1691). This paper includes a reprint of the original case report and a discussion of how later writers used the case to defend the idea that something may leave the body during near-death states.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Alvarado, Carlos S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Essential Features of Eight Published Muslim Near-Death Experiences: An Addendum to Joel Ibrahim Krep's "The Search for Muslim Near-Death Experiences"

Description: Abstract: Among other authors, Joel Ibrahim Kreps (2009) has recently published accounts of Muslim near-death experiences (NDEs). With the present paper, we aim to contribute to the growing number of non-Western NDE reports by providing summaries of eight additional Muslim NDEs, seven translated from the original Italian source (Giovetta, 2007) and one from an English source (Lerma, 2009), and to provide references for further reading. In addition, we highlighted noteworthy features of these eight summarized NDE accounts. Although the documentation standard of the available cases is generally low, these accounts indicate that the structure and contents of NDEs from many non-Western Muslim communities are largely similar to those reported in the Western NDE literature. In his report, Kreps concluded that Muslim NDEs are rare and that Muslims have fewer NDEs than do non-Muslim Westerners and non-Muslim non-Westerners such as the Chinese. However, we found that the number of Muslim NDE accounts available today seem to indicate that Muslim NDEs are not as rare as Kreps concluded.
Date: Autumn 2010
Creator: Nahm, Michael & Nicolay, Joachim
Partner: UNT Libraries