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Three Ancient Reports of Near-Death Experiences: Bremmer Revisited

Description: Abstract: In the modern literature, the so-called 'vision of Er,' told by Plato, and the 'vision of Thespesius,' recorded by Plutarch, have sometimes been cited as examples of ancient near-death experiences (NDEs). However, in a recent study, classicist Jan Bremmer (2002) impugned this interpretation. In this article, I offer a fresh analysis of these two texts that challenges Bremmer's stance and that vindicates the similarity between the ancient reports and modern NDEs. The vision of Er emerges as the oldest known direct account of an NDE. I add to these cases Plutarch's description of the 'vision of Timarchus' as an example of an ancient NDE provoked by extreme isolation. Comparison of these reports of NDEs from antiquity with modern analogues suggests a few additional characteristic traits of NDEs.
Date: Summer 2009
Creator: van der Sluijs, Marinus
Partner: UNT Libraries

Letters to the Editor

Description: Two letters written to the editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies on the topics: "Was Jesus Christ's decent into hell a near-death experience?" and "Population-based Prevalence Studies of NDEs."
Date: Summer 2009
Creator: van Wees, Ruud & Perera, Mahendra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Four Ostensible Near-Death Experiences of Roman Times with Peculiar Features: Mistake Cases, Correction Cases, Xenoglossy, and Prediction

Description: Abstract: In this paper, I present four apparent near-death experiences (NDEs) reported in Roman times. Despite their uncertain reliability, they contain features deserving attention. Three reports involve taking the wrong person to the realm of death by mistake ("mistake cases"), and even include the claim that the correct person had died after the NDEr revived ("correction cases"). Though common in Asia, such cases are absent in contemporary Western NDE reports. The fourth report contains an alleged correct future prediction and xenoglossy, the latter being a novum to NDE research. After introducing the four cases, I discuss their peculiar features and some related aspects of near-death states with a focus on their relevance for future NDE research.
Date: Summer 2009
Creator: Nahm, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries